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E D M U N 

i3T' R K E 

iJraconsffrlli l^Tittton 

VoiUMK Eight 


Two Hundred and Fifty copies of the Beaconsfield 
Edition of Edmund Burke's Works have been 
printed for Canada^ of which this is No 





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The Writings af Speeches of 




TORONTO • til OKdl. N M<'1<.\N*> 
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NiKTB BiroBT o» THB Selbot Committxb of thb Housb 
OF CoiuoNS ON TM Affaibs OF Ikdia. Jane 25, 1783. 


FAiBa IN India 3 

Connection of Obbat Bbitair with India . 4i 

Effect of the Bbtenub Intebtment on the Com- 

^•^^ 58 

Internal Tbadb of Bxnoal .... 75 

*"'« 83 

Raw Silk gg 

Cloths, ob Fixce-Goom 99 

Ownn ••...... 116 

8^" 142 

Saltfbtbe jjQ 

British Goternmxnt in India . . . .173 

Eletbnth Kxport of the Select Cohmittbb of the 
House of Commons on the Affairs of Ind/a. With 
Extracts from titb Appendix. November 18, 1783 , 217 

Articles of Charob of High Crimes and Mi8dem«anob8 
against Warren Hastings, EsgriHa, late Govrrnor- 
Grneral of Bengal : presented to the House op Com- 
mons IN April and Mat, 1786. — Artules L-VI. 

L Bohilla War g^y 

II. Shah Allcm jjg 

-— ...-, 1. a.-M.— ^. -ja>u. 

! ?■ 


HL BwAUi. 

Fast L Siobti xm TiTtu ov mt Ruab ov 

BuABia *** 

Fabt n. DuioRi or Mb. Outixu to bui> thb 

BuAH or Bmabxs 339 

Fabt IIL Expcuior or tbb Buab or Butabbs 854 

Fabt IV. Sbcoxd RByoLinrioir iw Bbhabbi . S80 

Fabt V. Tbibo Bbtolutiob ib BBiftBBB . 886 

lY. Pbibobius or Ocdb ...... 897 


VL Dbstbcotiob or thb Sajah or Sablobb. . 484 



Interior o! the Old House of Commons in St. 
Stephen's Chape, at Westminster, in the year 
1793 Frontitpwee 

From • picture by Kul Anton Hickel, in the NUional Por- 
trait Oallery. 

Fort William, Bengal, India Engraved Title 

Robert, First Baron Clive, K.B Page 81 

From a picture by Nathaniel Dance, B.A., in the National 
Portrait Oallery. 

Sir Philip Francis, K.B '< 276 

From a picture painted by James Lonsdale, in the National 
Portrait Oallery. 



or TRa 


June 25, 1783. 
VOL. vin. 1 




From the Selsot Committee [uf the House of Comment] 
appointed to take into con^iideration the state of the ad< 
ministration of justice in the provinces of Bengal, Buhar, 
and Orissa, and to report the same, as it shall appear to 
them, tu the House, with their observations thereupon ; 
and who were in^<tructed to consider how tbe British pos- 
sessions in the £ust Imlios niujr be held and governed 
with the greatest security urid advantage to tiiis country, 
and by what means the liuppiuess of the native inhab- 
itants may be best promoted. 


IN order to enablo tlio House to adopt the most 
proper means for regulating the British govern- 
ment in India, and for {u-omoting the happiness of 
the natives who live under its authority or iufluence, 
your Committee hold it expedient to collect into dis- 
tinct points of view the circumstances by which tliat 
government appears to them to be most essentially 
disordered, and to explain fully the principles of pol- 
icy and the course of conduct by v/liich the natives 
of all ranks and orders have been reduced to their 
present state of depression and misery. 

Your Committee have endeavored to perform this 
task in plain and popular language, knowing that 
nothing has alienated the House from inquiries ab- 




solutely necessary for the performance of one of tho 
most essential of all its duties so much as the techni- 
cal language of the Company's records, as the Indian 
names of persons, of offices, of the tenure and qualities 
of estates, and of all the varied branches of their intri- 
cate revenue. This language is, indeed, of necessary 
use in the executive departments of the Company's 
affairs ; but it is not necessary to Parliament. A lan- 
guage so foreign from all the ideas and habits of the 
far greater part of the members of this Hoiise has 
a tendency to disgust them with all sorts of inqui- 
ry concernui^ this subject. They are fatigued into 
such a despair of ever obtaining a competent knowl- 
edge of the transactions in India, that they are easi- 
ly persuaded to remand them back to that obscurity, 
mystery, and intrigue out of which they have been 
forced upon public notice by the calamities arising 
from their extreme mismanagement. This misman- 
agement has itself, as your Committee conceive, in 
a great measure arisen from dark cabals, and secret 
suggestions to persons in power, without a regular 
public iuq\iiry into the good or evil tendency of any 
measure, or into the merit or demerit of any per- 
son intrusted with the Company's concerns. 

The plan adopted by your Committee is, 
first, to consider the law regulating the East 
India Company, as it now stands, — and, sec- 
ondly, to inquire into the circumstances of 
the two great links of connection by which 
the territorial nossessions in India are united to this 
kingdom, ni ly, the Company's commerce, and the 
government exercised under the charter and under 
acts of Parliament. The last [first] of these objects, 
the commerce, is taken in two points of view : the 

Present lain 
relation to 
the Eaai 
India Com- 
pany, and 
tnteraal and 


external, or the direct trade between India and Eu- 
rope, and the internal, that is to say, the trade of 
Bengal, in all the articles of produce and manufac- 
ture which furnish the Company's investment. 

The government is considered by your Committee 
under the like descriptions of internal and external. 
The internal regards the communication between the 
Court of Directors and their servants in India, the 
management of the revenue, the expenditure of pub- 
lic money, the civil administration, the administra- 
tion of justice, and the state of the army. The ex- 
ternal regards, first, the conduct and maxims of the 
Company's government with respect to tlie native 
princes and people dependent on the British au- 
thority, — and, next, the proceedings with regard to 
those native powers which are wholly independent 
of the Company. But your Committee's observa- 
tions on the last division extend to those matters 
only which are not comprehended in the Report of 
the Committee of Secrecy. Under these heads, your 
Committee refer to the most leading particulars of 
abuse which prevail in the administration of India, — 
deviating only from this order where the abuses are 
of a complicated nature, and where one cannot be 
well considered independently of several others. 

Your Committee observe, that this is the 8«on<i »t- 

j 1 1 ■!-* T /» 1 t^mpt made 

socond attempt made by 1 arliament lor the I'y fiinia- 
reiormation 01 abuses in tlie Company s gov- Kiumiuuon. 
ernment. It appears, therefore, to them a necessary 
preliminary to this second undertaking, to consider 
the causes tvhich, in their opinion, have produced the 
failure of the first, — that the defects of the original 
plan may be supplied, its errors corrected, and such 
useful regulations as were then adopted may bo fur 
ther explained, enlarged, and enforced. 





Prooeedingi Tlio first design of this k*:!-J was formed 
17T3. in the session of the year 1773. In tliat 

year, Parliament, taking up the consideration of the 
affairs of India, through two of its committees col- 
lected a very great body of details concerning tho 
interior economy of the Company's possessions, and 
concerning many particulars of abuse which prevailed 
at the time when those committees made their ample 
and instructive reports. But it does not appear that 
the body of regulations enacted in that year, that is, 
in the East India Act of the thirteenth of his Majesty's 
reign, were altogether grounded on that information, 
but were adopted rather on probable speculations and 
general ideas of good policy and good government. 
New establishments, civil and judicial, were therefore 
formed at a very great expense, and with much com- 
plexity of constitution. Checks and counter-checks 
of all kinds were contrived in the execution, as well 
as in the formation of this system, in which all tho 
existing authorities of this kingdom had a share : for 
Parliament appointed the members of the presiding 
part of the new establishment, the Crown appointed 
the judicial, and tlie Company preserved the nomina- 
tion of the other officers. So that, if the act has not 
fully answered its purposes, the failure cannot be at- 
tributed to any want of officers of every description, 
or to the deficiency of any mode of patronage in their 
appointment. The cause must be sought elsewhere. 

oblctooTact "^^^ ^^' ^^^^ "^ ^^^ ^^^^ (independently 
fK"?'.""* 0^ several detached regulations) five funda- 

the tnecU " ^ 

thereof. mental objects. 

1st. The reformation of the Court of Proprietors 
of the East India Company. 

2ndly. A new model of tho Court of Directors, and 


an enforcement of th-'^.r authority over the servants 

3rdly. The establishment of a court of justice ca- 
pable of protecting the natives from the oppressions 
of British subjects. 

4thly. The establishment of a general council, to 
be seated in Bengal, whose authority should, in many 
particulars, extend over all the British settlements in 

5thly. To furnish the ministers of the crown with 
constant information concerning the whole of the 
Company's correspondence with India, in order that 
they might be enabled to inspect the conduct of the 
Directors and servants, and to watch over the exe- 
cution of all parts of the act ; that they might be fur- 
nished with matter to lay before Parliament from 
time to time, according as the state of things should 
render regulation or animadversion necessary. 

The first object of the policy of this act coortofPto- 
was to improve the constitution of the Court p™*""- 
of Proprietors. In this case, as in almost all the rest, 
the remedy was not applied directly to the disease. 
The complaint was, that factions in the Court of Pro- 
prietors had shown, in several instances, a disposition 
to support the servants of the Company against the 
just coercion and legal prosecution of the Directors. 
Instead of applying a corrective to the distemper, a 
change was proposed in the constitution. By this 
reform, it was presumed that an interest would arise 
in the General Court more independent in itself, 
and more connectec vith the commercial prosperity 
of the Company. Ijii.'er the new consti- Newquaun- 
tution, no proprietor, not possessed of a '^'™' 
thousand pounds capital stock, was permitted to 






vote iu the General Court : before the act, five hun- 
dred pounds was a sufficient qualification lor one vote ; 
and no value gave more. But as the lower classes 
were disabled, the power was increased in the higher : 
proprietors of three thousand pounds were allowed 
two votes ; those of six thousand were entitled to 
three; t-n thousand pounds was made the qualifica- 
tion for four. The votes were thus regulated in the 
scalo ..lid gradation of property. On this scale, and 
on some provisions to prevent occasional qualifications 
and splitting of votes, the whole reformation rested. 

Several essential points, however, seem to have 
been omitted or misunderstood. No regulation was 
made to abolish the pernicious custom of voting by 
ballot, by means of which acts of the high- 
est concern to the Company and to tlie state 
might be don ^ by individuals with perfect impunity ; 
and even the body itself might be subjected to a for- 
feiture of all its privileges for defaults of persons 
who, so far from being under control, could not be 
so much as known iu any ^node of legal cognizance. 
Xothing was done or attempted to prevent the opera- 
indian In- ^^^^ °^ *'*® interest of delinquent servants 
"'*»'• of the Company in the General Court, by 

which they might even come to be their own judges, 
and, in efifect, under another description, to become 
the masters in that body which ought to govern them. 
Nor was anything provided to secure the independen- 
cy of tlie proprietary body from the various exterior 
interests by which it might be disturbed, and divert- 
ed from the conservation of that pecuniary concern 
which the act laid down as the sole security for pre- 
venting a collusion between tlie General Court and 
the powerful delinquent servant; in India. The 


whole of the regulations concerning the Court of 
Proprietors relied upon two principles, which have 
often ,-oved fallacious : namely, that small numbers 
were h security against faction and disorder; and 
that integrity of conduct would follow the greater 
property. In no case could these principles be less 
depended upon than in the affairs of the East India 
Company. However, by wholly cutting off the lower, 
and adding to the power of the higher classes, it was 
supposed that the higher woixld keep their money in 
that fund to make profit, — that the vote would be a 
secondary co sideration, and no more than a guard 
to the property, — and that therefore any abuse which 
tended to depreciate the value of their stock would 
be warmly resented by such proprietors. 

If the ill effects of every misdemeanor in the Com- 
pany's servants were to be immediate, and had a ten- 
dency to lower the value of the stock, oomething 
might justly be expected from the pecuniary seen: ity 
taken by the act. But from the then state of things, 
it was more than probable that proceedings ruin- 
ous to the permanent interest of the Company might 
commence in great lucrative advantages. Against 
this evil large pecuniary interests were rather the 
reverse of a remedy. Accordingly, the Company's 
servants have ever since covered over the worst op- 
pressions of the people > their government, and 
the most cruel and wan vuges of all 1iio neigh- 
boring countries, by holOi .g out, and for a ame act- 
ually realizing, additions of revenue to the territorial 
funds of the Company, and great quantities of valua- 
ble goods to their investment. 

But this consideration of mere income. 

whatever weight it might have, could not 




be the first object of a proprietor, in a body so cir- 
cumstanced. The East India Company is not, like 
the Bank of England, a mere moneyed society for 
the sole purpose of the preservation or improvement 
of their capital • and therefore every attempt to reg- 
ulate it upon the same principles must inevitably 
fail. When it is considered that a certain share in 
the stock gives a share in the government of so vast 
an empire, with such a boundless patronage, civil, 
military, marine, commercial, and financial, in every 
department of which such fortunes have been made 
as could be made nowhere else, it is impossible not 
to perceive that capitals far superior to any qualifi- 
cations appointed to proprietors, or even to Directors, 
would readily be laid out for a participation in that 
power. The India proprietor, therefore, will always 
be, in the first instance, a politician ; and tho bolder 
Lis en' rprise, and the more corrupt bis views, the 
less Wiil be his consideration of the price to be paid 
for compassing them. The new regulations did not 
reduce the number so low as not to leave the assem- 
bly still liable to all the disorder which might be 
supposed to arise from multitude. But if the princi- 
ple had been well established and well executed, a 
much greater inconveniency grew out of the reform 
than that which had attended the old abuse : for if 
tumult and disorder be lessened by reducing the 
number of proprietors, private cabal and intrigue 
are facilitated at least in an equal degree ; and it is 
cabal and corruption, rather than disorder and con- 
fusion, that was most to be dreaded in transacting 
tlie affairs of India. Whilst tho votes of the smaller 
proprietors continued, a door was left open for the 
public sense to enter hito that society: since that 



door has been closed, the proprietary has become, 
even more than formerly, an aggregate of private in- 
terests, wiiich subsist at the expense of the collective 
body. At the moment of this revolution in the pro- 
prietary, as it might naturally bo expected, those who 
had either no very particular interest in their vote or 
but a petty object to pursue immediately disquali- 
fied; but those who were deeply interested in the 
Company's patronage, those who were concerned in 
the supply of ships and of the other innumcrabla 
objects required for their immense establishments, 
those who were engaged in contracts with the Treas- 
ury, Admiralty, and Ordnance, together witli the 
clerks in public offices, found means of securing 
qualifications at the enlarged standard. All these 
composed a much greater proportion than formerly 
they had done of the proprietary body. 

Against the great, predominant, radical corruption 
of the Court of Proprietors the raising the qualifica- 
tion proved no sort of remedy. Tlie return of the 
Company's servants into Europe poured in a constant 
supply of proprietors, whose ability to purchase the 
highest qualifications for themselves, their agents, 
and dependants could not be dubiou-s. And this 
latter description form a very considerable, and by 
far the most active and efficient part of that body. 
To add to the votes, which is adding to the power in 
proportion to the wealth, of men whose very offences 
were supposed to consist in acts which lead to the ac- 
quisition of enormous riches, appears by no means a 
well-considered method of checking rapacity and op- 
pression. In proportion as these interests prevailed, 
the means of cabal, of concealment, and of corrupt 
confederacy became far more easy than before. Ac- 






cordinglj, there was no fault with respect to the 
Company's government over its servants, charged 
or chargeable on the General Court as it originally 
(stood, of which since the reform it has not been no- 
toriously guilty. It was not, therefore, a matter of 
surprise to your Committee, that the General Court, 
so composed, has at length grown to such a degree of 
contempt both of its duty and of the permanent inter- 
est of the whole corporation as to put itself into open 
defiance of the salutary admonitions of this House, 
given for the purpose of asserting and enibrcing the 
legal authority of their own body over their own ser- 

The failure in this part of the reform of 1773 is 
not stated by your Committee as recommending a 
return to the ancient constitution of the Company, 
which was nearly as far as the new from containing 
any principle tending to the prevention or remedy of 
abuses, — but to point out the probable failure of any 
future regulations which do not apply dii-cctly to the 
grievance, but which may be taken up as experiments 
to ascertain theories of the operation of councils 
formed of greater or lesser numbers, or such as shall 
be composed of men of more or less opulence, or of 
interests of new >r or longer standing, or concerning 
the distribution of power to various descriptions or 
professions of men, or of the election to office by one 
authority rather than another. 
Court of The second object of the act was the 

Director,. Q^^j.^ ^f Dircctors. Undci the arrange- 
ment of the year 1773 that court appeared to have its 
authority much strengthened. It was made less de- 
pendent thar formerly upon its constituents, the pro- 
prietary. TLe duration of the Directors in office was 

li I 



rendered more perxuanent, and the tenure itself di- 
versified by a varied and intricate rotation. At the 
same time tlieir autliority was lield higli over tlioir 
servants of all descriptions ; and the only rule pre- 
scribed to the Council-General of Bengal, in the ex- 
ercise of the largo and ill-defined powers given to 
them, was that they were to yield obedience to the 
orders of the Court of Direciors. As to the Court of 
Directors itself, it was left with very little regulation. 
The custom of ballot, infinitely the - jst miscliievoua 
in a body possessed of all the ordinary executive pow- 
ers, was still left ; and your Committee have found 
the ill effects of this practice in the course of their 
inquiries. Notliing was done to oblige the Directors 
to attend to the promotion of their servants according 
to their rank and merits. In judging of those merits 
nothing was done to bind them to any observation of 
what appeared on their records. Nothing was done 
to compel them to prosecution or complaint where 
delinquency became visible. The act, indeed, pre- 
scribed that no servant of the Company abroad should 
be eligible into the direction until two years after 
his return to England. But as this regulation rather 
presumes than provides for an inquiry into their con- 
duct, a very ordinary neglect in the Court of Directors 
might easily defeat it, and a short remission might in 
this particular operate as a total indemnity. In fact, 
however, the servants have of late seldom attempt- 
ed a seat in the direction, — an attempt which might 
possibly rouse a dormant spirit of inquiry ; but, sat- 
isfied with an interest in the proprietary, they have, 
through that name, brought the direction very much 
under their own control. 

As to the general authority of the Court of Direo- 



toi i, there is reason to apprehend that on the whole 
it was somewhat degraded by the act whose professed 
purpose was to exalt it, and that the only effect of 
the Parliamentary sanction to their orders has been, 
that along with those orders the law of the land has 
been despised and trampled under foot. The Dirco- 
tor3 were not suffered cither to nooninate or to remove 
those whom they were empowered to instruct ; from 
masters they were reduced to the situation of com- 
plainants, — a situation the imbecility of which no 
laws or regulations could wholly alter ; and when the 
Directors were afterwards restored in some degree to 
their ancient power, on the expiration of the lease 
given to their principal servants, it became impossible 
for tliem to recover any degree of their ancient re- 
spect, even if they had not in the mean time been so 
modelled as to be entirely free from all ambition of 
that sort. 

Prom that period the orders of the Court of Direc- 
tors became to be so habitually despised by their ser- 
vants abroad, and at length to be so little regard- 
ed even by themselves, that this contempt of orders 
forms almost the whole subject-matter of the volu- 
minous reports of two of your committees. If any 
doubt, however, remains concerning the cause of this 
fatal decline of the authority of the Court of Di- 
rectors, no doubt whatsoever can remain of the fact 
itself, nor of the total failure of one of the great 
leading regulations of the act of 1773. 

The third object was a new judicial ar- 
rangement, the chief purpose of which was 
to form a strong and solid security for the natives 
against the wrongs and oppressions of British sub- 
jects resident in Bengal. An operose and expensive 

Court of 



establishment of a Supreme Court was made, and 
charged upon the revenues of the country. The 
charter of justice was by the act left to the crown, as 
well as the appointment of the magistrates. The de- 
fect in the institution seemed to be tliis, — that no 
rule was laid do\m, either in the act or the charter, 
by which the court was to judge. No descriptions of 
offenders or species of delinquency were properly as- 
certained, according to the nature of the place, or to 
the prey Jent mode of abuse. Provision was made 
for the administration of justice in the remotest part 
of Hindostan as if it were a province in Great Brit- 
Your Committee have long had the constitu- 


tiou and conduct of this court before them, and tliey 
have not yet been able to discover verj- lew instances 
(not one that appears to them of leading importance) 
of relief given to the natives against the corruptions 
or oppressions of British subjects in power, — tliough 
tliey do find one very strong and marked instance 
of the judges having em) loyod an unwarrantable ex- 
tension or application of the municipal law of Eng- 
land, to destroy a person of the highest rank among 
those natives whom they were sent to protect. One 
circumstance rendered the proceeding iu this case 
fatal to all the good purposes for which the court 
had been established. The sufferer (the Rajah Nund- 
comar) appears, at the very time of this extraordi- 
nary prosecution, a (liscoverer of some particulars 
of illicit gain then charged ,/on Mr. Hastings, the 
Governor-General. Although in ordinary cases, and 
in some lesser instances of grievance, it is very prob- 
able that this court has done its duty, and has been, 
as every court must be, of some service, yet one ex- 
ample of this kind must do more towards deterring 






, 1 


the natives fhmi complaiot, aod consequently ttom 
the means of redress, than many decisions favorable 
to them, in the ordinary course of proceeding, can 
do fur their encouragement and relief. So far as 
your Committee has been able to discover, the 
court lias been generally terrible to the natives, and 
has distracted the government of the Company with* 
out substantially reforming any one of its abuses. 

This court, which in its constitution seems not to 
have had sufficiently in view the necessities of the 
people for whose relief it was intended, and was, or 
thought itoelf, bound in some instances to too strict 
an adherence to the forms and rules of English prac- 
tice, in others was framed upon principles perhaps 
too remote fr^'n the constitution of English tribu- 
nals. By ♦' course of English practice, the 

far greater pu. ^dress to be obtained against 

oppressions of |. by process in the nature 

of civil actions. In luese a trial by jury is a ne- 
cessary part, with regard to the finding the offence 
and to the assessment of the damages. Both these 
were in the charter of justice left entirely to the 
judges. It was presumed, and not wholly without 
reason, that the British subjects were liable to fall 
into factions and combinations, in order to support 
themselves in the abuses of an authority of which 
every man might in his turn become a sharer. And 
with regard to the natives, it was presumed (perhaps 
a little too hastily) that they were not capable of 
sharing in the functions of jurors. But it was not 
foreseen that the judges were also liable to be en- 
gaged in the factions of the settlement, — and if they 
should ever happen to be so engaged, that the na- 
tive people were then without that remedy which 






obviously lay in the olmnco that tho court and jury, 
though botlt liable to l>ias, might uot easily unite 
in the same identical act of iiiJuHtice. Your Com* 
mittoe, on full inquiry, are of opinion that the u»r 
of juriet i$ neither impracticable nor dangeroui in 

Your Committee refer to their report made in tho 
year 1781, for the manner in which this court, at- 
tempting to extend its jurisdiction, and falling with 
eitrume severity on the native magisti-ates, a violent 
contest arose between tlic Englisli judges and tho 
English civil authority. Tliis authority, calling in 
tlio military arm, (by a most dangerous example,) 
overpowered, and for a while suspended, tho func- 
tions of the court ; but at length those functions, 
which were suspended by the quarrel of tho parties, 
were destroyed by their reconciliation, and by tho 
arrangements made in consequence of it. By these 
tlie court was virtually anniiiJited; or if substan- 
tially it exists, it is to be apprehended it exists 
only for purposes very diGTerent from those of its 

The fourth object of the act of 1773 was the Coun- 
cil-General. This institution was intended to pro- 
duce uniformity, consistency, and tho effective co- 
operation of all the settlements in their common 
defence. By the ancient constitution of tho Com- 
pany's foreign settlements, they were each of tliuni 
under the orders of a President or Chief, and a Coun- 
cil, more or fewer, according to the discretion of tlie 
Company. Among those, Parliament (probably on ac- 
count of the largeness of tlie territorial acquisitions, 
rather than the couvenienoy of tho ?' nation) chose 
Bengal for the residence of the controlling power, 

vol.. VIII. 





i V 

and, dissolving the Presidency, appointed a now es- 
tablishment, upon a plan somewhat similar to that 
which had prevailed before; but the number was 
smaller. This establishment was composed of a 
Governor-General and four Counsellors, all named in 
the act of Parliament. They were to hold their of- 
fices for five years, after which term the patronage 
was to revert to the Court of Directors. In the 
mean time such vacancies as should happen were to 
be filled by that court, with the concurrence of the 
crown. The first Governor-General and one of the 
Counsellors had been old servants of the Company ; 
the others were new men. 

On this new arrangement the Courts of Proprie- 
tors and Directors considered the details of commerce 
as not perfectly consistent with the enlarged sphere 
of duty and the reduced number of the Council. 
Therefore, to relieve them from this burden, they 
instituted a new office, called the Board of Trade, 
fbr the subordinate management of their commercial 
concerns, and appointed eleven of the senior ser- 
vants to fill the commission. 

?oim to '^'^^ powers given by the act to the new 
*n«aund Govcruor-General and Council had for their 
Council. direct object the kingdom of Bengal and its 
dependencies. Within that sphere (and it is not a 
small one) their authority extended over all the Com- 
pany's concerns of whatever description. In matters 
of peace and war it seems to have been meant that 
the other Presidencies should be subordinate to their 
board. But the law is loose and defective, where it 
professes to restrain the subordinate Presidencies from 
making war without the consent and approbation of 
the Supreme Council. They are left free to act with- 

J I. 




out it in cases of imminent necessity, or where they shall 
have received special orders from the Company. The 
first exception leaves it open to the subordinate to 
judge of the necessity of measures which, when 
taken, bind or involve the superior: the second re- 
fers a question of peace or war to two jurisdictions, 
which may give difiFerent judgments. In both instan- 
ces cases in point have occurred.* With regard to 
their local administration, their powers were ex- 
ceedingly and dangerously loose and undetermined. 
Tlieir powers were not given directly, but in words 
of reference, in which neither the objects related to 
nor the mode of the relation were sufficiently ex- 
pressed. Their legislative and executive capacities 
were not so accurately drawn, and marked by such 
strong and penal lines of distinction, as to keep these 
capacities separate. Where legislative and merely ex- 
ecutive powers were lodged in the same hands, the 
legislative, which is the larger and the more ready 
for all occasions, was constantly resorted to. The 
Governor-General and Council, therefore, immediate- 
ly gave constructions to their ill-defined authority 
which rendered it perfectly despotic, — constructions 
which if they were allowed, no action of theirs ought 
to be regarded as criminal. 

Armed as they were with an authority in itself so 
ample, and by abuse so capable of an unlimited ex- 
tent, very few, and these very insufficient correctives, 
were administered. Ample salaries were provided 
for them, which indeed removed the necessity, but 
by no means the inducements to corruption and op- 
pression. Nor was any barrier whatsoever opposed 
on the part of the natives against their injustice, ex- 

* See the Secret Committee's Reports on the Mahratta War. 





! r 

■ ' I 

cept the Supreme Court of Judicature, which never 
could be capable of controlling a government with 
such powers, without becoming such a government 


There was, indeed, a prohibition against all con- 
cerns in trade to the whole Council, and against all 
taking of presents by any in authority. A right of 
prosecution in the King's Br . ih was also established ; 
but it was a right the exeici.e of which is difficult, 
and in many, and those tl ; - ost weig' ty cases, im- 
practicable. No considerable /acilities wore given to 
prosecution in Parliament ; nothing was done to pre- 
vent complaint from being far more dangerous to the 
sufferer than injustice to the oppressor. No overt 
acts were fixed, upon which corruption should be 
presumed in transactions of which secrecy and collu- 
sion formed the very basis ; no rules of evidence nor 
authentic mode of transmission were settled in con- 
formity to the unalterable circumstances of the coun- 
try and the people. 

One provision, indeed, was made for re- 
servants. stramuig tlic scrvants, in itseli very wise 
and substantial : a delinquent once dismissed, could 
not be restored, but by the votes of three fourths of 
the Directors and three fourths of the proprietors: 
this was well aimed. But no method was settled for 
bringing delinquents to the question of removal : and 
if they should be brought to it, a door lay wide open 
for evasion of the law, and for a return into the ser- 
vice, in defiance of its plain intention, — that is, by 
resigning to avoid removal ; by which measure this 
provision of the act has proved as unoperative as all 
the rest. By this management a mere majority may 
bring ip the greater deUnquent, whilst the person re- 




moved for offences comparatively trivial may remaiu 

excluded forever. 

The new Council nominated in the act coandu 
was composed of two totally discordant ele- ««- 
raents, which soon distinguished themselves into per- 
manent parties. One of the principal instructions 
which the three members of the Council sent im- 
mediately from England, namely, General Clavenng, 
Colonel Monson, and Mr. Francis, carried out with 
them was, to " came the strictent inquiry to be made 
into all oppremons and abuse- - aong which <A^. 
practice of receiving presents fr< <atms, at that 

time generally charged upon mei = ,- Jwer, was prm- 

cipally aimed at. . 

Presents to any considerable value were justly re- 
puted by the legislature, not as marks of attention 
and respect, but as bribes or extortions, for which 
either the beneficial and gratuitous duties of govern- 
ment were sold, or they were the price paid for acts 
of partiality, or, finally, they were sums of money 
extorted from the givers by the terrors of power. 
Against the system of presents, therefore, the new 
commission was in general opinion particularly point- 
ed In the commencement of reformation, at a peri- 
od when a rapacious conquest had overpowered and 
succeeded to a corrupt government, an act of indem- 
nity might have been tliought advisable; perhaps a 
new account ought to have been opened; all retro- 
spect ought to have been forbidden, at least to certain 
T^riods. If this had not been though* advisable, none 
in the higher departments of a suspected and decried 
government ought to have been kept in their posts, 
until an examination had rendered their proceedings 
clear, or until length of time had obliterated, by an 






' I J 

even course of irreproachable coiiduci, the errors 
which so naturall}' grow out of a new power. But 
the policy adopted was different : it was to begin with 
examples. The cry against the abuses was strong and 
vehement throughout the whole nation, and the prac- 
tice of ' resents was represented to be as general as it 
was mischievous. In such a case, indeed in any case, 
it seen- 1 not to be a measure the most provident, 
witiiuut a great deal of previous inquiry, to place two 
persons, who from their situation must be the most 
ex^ sed to such imputations, in the commission which 
was fi inquire into their own conduct, — much less 
to place one of them at the head of that commission, 
and with a casting vote in case of an equality. The 
persons who could not be liable to that charge were, 
indeed, three to two ; but any accidental difference 
of opinion, the death of any one of tliem or his occa- 
sioral absence or sickness, threw the wliole power in- 
to the hands of the other two, who were Mr. Hastings 
and Mr. Barwell, one the President, and the other 
high in the Council of that establishment on which 
the reform was to operate. Thus mose who were lia- 
ble to process as delinquents were in effect set over 
the reformers ; and that did actually happen which 
might be expected to happen from so preposterous an 
arrangement: a stop was soon put to all inquiries 
into the capital abuses. 

Nor was the great political end proposed in the 
formation of a superintending Council over all the 
Presidencies better answered than that of an inquiry 
into corruptions and abuses. The several Presiden- 
cies have acted in a great degree upon their own sep- 
arate authority; and as little of unity, concert, or 
regular system has appeared in their conduct as was 

i I 



ever known before this institution. India i«, j^^e^d, 
Tva^t a country, and the settlements --^^^ 
that their intercourse with each other is hable to as 
many d ays and difficulties as the intercourse be- 
Tween distant and separate states. But one evd may 
po s'bly have arisen from an attempt to produce an 
S' which, though undoubtedly to be aimed at, is 
17os;d 1 ome degree by the unalterable nature 
or« eir situation,-that it lias taught the servan 
rather to look to a superior among thomsolyes than to 
Scommon superiors. This evil, growing out of 
Sfe abus^ of the principle of subordination can on y 
b corrected by a veiy strict enforcement of auUior.ty 
over tbat part of the chain of dependence which is 
next to the original power. 

Th^t which your Committee considers as P„we«^^ 
the fifth and last of the capital objects of .i„u.. 
the act, and as the binding ^ogu ation of 
the whole, is the introduction (then for the hrst 
Lfof tke ministers of the crown into the affair^ 
time; oi um claiming a concern and 

of the Company. 1 he state ciaimi b , 

share of property in the Company's profits, the ser 
vants the crown were presumed the more likely to 
p" rve with a scrupulous attention t- sourc of 
^ „ „ri,i/.Vi thpv were to administer, 

fVip ereat revenues wliicn iney wtiv. ^^^ 

jTd for the rise ana fall of which they were to render 

this act in two ways : one by a control, in .«ff«jt ^^ ^ 
share in the appointment to vacancies in the bu- 
p m; Council. The act provided that his Majesty s 
f^probation should be had t<. the persons named to 
that duty. Partaking thus in the patronage of the 
clvZ, administration was bound to an attention 




• I, 



II 4 





to the characters and capacities of the persons em- 
ployed ill that higli trust. The other part of their 
interference was by way of inspection. By this rigiit 
of inspection, everything in the Company's corre- 
spondence from India, wliich related to the civil or 
n^ilitary affairs and government of the Company, was 
directed by the act to be within fourteen days after 
the receipt laid before tlie Secretary of State and 
everytliing that related to the management of the 
revenues was to be laid before tlie Commissioners of 
the Treasury. Tn fact, both description of these pa- 
pers have been generally communicated to that board. 
Defecu In ^* appears to your Committee that there 
the plan. ^gre great and material defects in botli 
parts of the plan. With regard to the approbation 
of persons nominated to the Supreme Council by the 
Court of Directors, no sufficient means were provided 
for carrying to his Majesty, along with the nomina- 
^4on, the particulars in the conduct of those who had 
been in the service before, whicli might render them 
proper objects of approbation or rejection. The In- 
dia House possesses an office of record capable of 
furnishing, in almost all cases, materials for judging 
on the behavior of the servants in their progress from 
the lowest to the highest stations ; and the whole dis- 
cipline of the service, civil and military, must depend 
upon an examination of these records inseparably at- 
tending every application for an appointment to the 
higliest stations. But in the present state of the 
nomination the ministers of the crown are not fur- 
nished with the proper means of exercising the power 
of control intended by the law, even if thoy were 
scrupulously attentive to the use of it. There are 
modes of proceeding favorable to neglect. Others 
excite inquiry and stimulate to vigilance. 




Your Ooimnittee, therefore, are of opiuiua, J';';j;^*;'J™ 
that for the future preveutiou of cubal, mid ""«»• 
of private and partial representatiou, whether above 
or below, tliat, whenever any person wlio has been in 
the service shall be recommended to the king's min- 
isters to fill a vacancy in the Council-General, the 
Secretary of the Court of Directors shall bo ordered 
to make a strict search into the records of the Com- 
pany, and shall annex to the recommendation the 
reasons of the Court of Directors for thoir choice, 
together with a faithful copy of whatever shall bo 
found (if anythhig can be found) relative to his 
character and conduct, — as also an account of his 
standing in the Company's service, the time of his 
abode in India, the reasons for his return, and the 
stations, whether civil or military, in which he has 
been successively placed. 

"With this account ought to be transmitted the 
names of those who were proposed as candidates 
for the same office, with the correspondent particu- 
lars relative to their conduct and situation : for not 
only the separate, but the comparative merit, prob- 
ably would, and certainly ought, to have great influ- 
ence in the approbation or rejection of the party pre- 
sented to tl-.e ministers of the crown. These papers 
should be laid before the Commissioners of the 
Treasury and one of the Secretaries of State, and 
entered in books to be kept in the Treasury and the 
Secretary's office. 

Tliese precautions, in case of the nom- Appoint- 
ination of any who have served the Com- co^^io„, 
pany, appear to be necessary from the im- *"• 
proper nomination and approbation of Mr. ^^."a^" 
John Macpherson, notwithstanding the ob- v^^"^^ 









jectioiis wliich stood against him on the Company's 
Btabtes'i records. The choice of Mr. John Stables, 
from an inferior military to tlie highest civil 
capacity, was by no means proper, nor an encouraging 
example to either service. His conduct, indeed, in 
the subaltern military situation, had received, and 
seems to have deserved, commendation ; but no suffi- 
cient ground was furnished for confounding the lines 
and gradations of service. This measure was, how- 
ever, far less exceptionable than the former ; because 
an irregular choice of a less competent person, and 
the preference given to proved delinquency in preju- 
dice to unceusured service, are very different things. 
But even this latter appointment would in all likeli- 
hood have been avoided, if rules of promotion had 
been established. If such rules were settled, candi- 
dates qualified from ability, knowledge, and service 
would not be discouraged by fmduig that everything 
was open to every man, and that favor alone stood 
in the place of civil or military experience. The 
elevation from tlie lovvost stations unfaithfully and 
negligently filled to the highest trusts, the total in- 
attention to rank and seniority, and, much more, the 
combination of tliis neglect of rank with a confusion 
(unaccompanied with strong and evident reasons) of 
the lines of service, cannot operate as useful exam- 
ples on those who serve the public in India. These 
servants, beholding men who have been condemned 
for improper behavior to the Company in inferior 
civil stations elevated above them, or (what is less 
blamable, but still mischievous) ;rsons without any 
distinguished civil talents taken Irom tlie suburdinate 
situations of another line to tlieir prejudice, will de- 
spair by any good behavior of ascending to the digni- 




ties of their own : they will be led to improve, to the 
utmost advantage of their fortune, the lower stages 
of pow3r, and will endeavor to make up lu lucre 
wliat they can never hope to acquire in station. 

The temporary appointment by Parliament of the 
Supreme Council of India arose from au opinion that 
tlic Company, at that time at least, was not in a con- 
dition or not disposed to a proper exercise of the 
privileges which they held under their charter. It 
therefore behoved the Directors to be particularly at- 
tentive to their choice of Counsellors, on the expira- 
tion of the period during which their patronage had 
been suspended. The duties of tlio Supreme Coun- 
cil had been reputed of so arduous a nature as to 
require even a legislative interposif: u. They were 
called upon, by all possible care and impartiality, to 
justify Parliament at least as fully in the restoration 
of their privileges as the circumstances of the time 
had done in their suspension. 

But interests have lately prevailed in the Court 
of Directors, which, by the violation of every rule, 
seemed to be resolved on the destruction of those 
privileges of which they were the natural guardians. 
Every new power given has been made the soui-oe of 
a new abuse ; and the acts of Parliament themselves, 
which provide but imperfectly for the prevention of 
the miscb-ief, have, it is to be feared, made provisions 
(contrary, without doubt, to the intention of the legis- 
lature) which operate against the possibility ot any 
cure in the ordinary course. 

In the original institution of the Supreme Council, 
reasons may have existed agamst rendering the ten- 
ure of the Counsellors in their office precai-ious. A 
plan of reform might have required the permanence 






i i 


of the persons who were just appointed by Parlia- 
ment to execute it. But tlie act of 1780 gave a 
duration coexistent with the statute itself to a Coun- 
cil not appointed by act of Parliament, nor chosen 
for any temporary or special purpose ; by which 
means the servants in the big' (^st situation, let their 
conduct bo never so grosslv c. nal, cannot bo re- 
moved, unless the Court of Directors and ministers 
of the crown can bo found to concur in the same 
opinion of it. The prevalence of the Indian factious 
in the Court of Directors and Court of Proprietors, 
aiid sonif^times in the state itself, renders tliis agree- 
ment extremely difficult: if the principal members 
of the Direction should be in a conspiracy with any 
principal servant under censure, it will be impracti- 
cable; because tiie first act must originate there. 
The reduced state of the authority of this kingdom 
in Bengal may be traced in a great measure to that 
very natural source of independence. In many cases 
the instant removal of an offender from his power of 
doing mischief is the only mode of preventing tiie 
utter and perhaps irretrievable ruin of public affairs. 
In such a case the process ought to be simple, and 
the power absolute in one or in either hand sepa- 
rately. By contriving the balance of interests formed 
in the act, notorious offence, gross error, or palpable 
insufficiency have many chances of retaining and 
abusing authority, whilst the variety of representa- 
tions, hearings, and conferences, and possibly the 
mere jealousy and competition between rival powers, 
may prevent any decision, and at length give time 
and means for settlements and compromises among 
parties, made at the expense of justice and true 
policy. But this act of 1780, not properly distiu- 




Kuishing ju.licial process from executive urra.i go- 
Lnts, requires in effect nearly the 8amo degree of 
solemnity, delay, and detail for removing a political 
inconvenience which attends a criminal proceeding 
for the punishment of offences. It goes further, 
and gives the .ame tenure to all who shall succeed 
to vacancies which was given to those whom the 

act found in office. , • i i,„. 

Another regulation was made in the act, which has 
a tendency to render the control of delinquency or 
the removal of incapacity in the Council-General ex- 
tremely difficult, as weU as to introduce many other 
abuses into the original appointment of Counsellors. 
Tlio inconveniences of a vacancy in that im- i^rovwon..^^ 
portant office, at a great distance from the ,,,,^vacac. 
authority that is to fill it, were visible ; but 
your Committee have doubts whether they balance 
the mischief which may arise from the power given 
in this act, of a provisional appointment to vacancies 
not on the event, but on foresight. This mode of 
providing for the succession has a tendency to pro- 
mote cabal, and to prevent inquiry int ■ le qualifica- 
tions of the persons to be appointed. An attemp. has 
been actually made, in consequence of this power m 
a very marked manner, to confound the whole order 
and discipline of the Company's service. Means are 
furnished thereby for perpetuating the powers of some 
given Court of Directors. They may forestall the pat- 
ronage of their successors, on whom they entail a line 
of Supreme Counsellors and Governors-General. And 
if the exercise of this power should happen in its out- 
set to fall into bad hands, the ordinary chances for 
mending an iU choice upon death or resignatiou are 
mit off. 





• ,1 




t ' 

In thoso prorisioiial arrangements it is to bo con- 
sidered that the appointment is not in ccusoqucnce 
of any marked event whicli calls strongly on the at- 
tention of the public, but is made at the discretion 
of those who lead in the Court of Directors, and may 
therefore bo brought forward at times the most favor- 
able to the views of partiality and corruption. Can- 
didates have not, therefore, the notice that may be 
necessary for their claims ; and as the possession of 
the office to which the survivors are to succeed seems 
remote, all inquiry into the qualifications and charac- 
ter of those who are to fill it will naturally be dull 
and languid. 

Yotir Committee are not also without a grounded 
apprehension of the ill effect on any existing Council- 
General of all strong marks of influence and favor 
which appear in the subordinates of Bengal. This 
previous designation to a great and arduous trust, 
(the greatest that can be reposed in subjects,) when 
made out of any regular course of succession, marks 
that degree of countenance and support at home which 
may overshadow the existing government. That gov- 
ernment may thereby be disturbed by factions, and 
led to corrupt and dangerous compliances. At best, 
when these Counsellors elect are engaged in no fixed 
employment, and have no lawful intermediate emolu- 
ment, the natural impatience for their situations may 
bring on a traffic for resignations between them and 
the persons in possession, very unfavorable to the in- 
terests of the public and to the duty of their situa- 

Since the act two persons have been nominated to 
the ministers of the crown by the Court of Directors 
for this succession. Neither has yet been approved. 



But by tho doscription of the persons a juc'gm'- ♦ may 
be formed of tho principles ou which tnis w 

likely to bo exercised. 

Your Committee find, that, in c.i.'- - ■ nco |^«t.~> 
of tlio above-mentioned act, the Honorable ^ly;;^:;^^! 
Charles Stuart and Mr. Sulivan wore ap- '-.c.. 
pointed to succeed to tho first vacancies .n the hu- 
Lme Cotincil. Mr. Stuart's fust appointment m 
the Company's service was in the year lio 
returned to England in 1775, and was pcnmtted to 
go back to India in 1780. In August, 1 .81 ho 
tas nominated by the Court of Directors (Mr. Suli- 
van and Sir William James were Chairman and 
Deputy-Chairman) to succeed to the first vacancy 
in the Supreme Council, and on the 19th of Sep- 
tembcr following his Miyesty's approval of such nom- 
ination was requested. 

In the nomination of Mr. Stuart, the ^rn^;> 
consideration of rank in the service was ;,^ 
not neglected; but if the Court of D.rcc- »eu. 
tors had thought fit to examine their records, they 
would have found matter at least stronely urging 
them to a suspension of this appointment, until the 
changes agains't Mr. Stuart should be fully cleared 
up That matter remained (as it still remains) un- 
explained from the month of May, l^^ jh-e o» 
the Bengal Revenue Consultations of the 12th of 
that month, peculations to a large amount are charged 
upon oath Igainst Mr. Stuart under the following tv- 
tie • " ne Particulars of the Money uvomtly taken by^ 
Mr, Stuart, during the Time he was at Burdwan 
The sum charged against him m this account is 
2,17,684 Sicca rupees (that is, 25,253?. sierhng) , 
b;8ide8 which there is .nother account with the fol- 








lowing title : « The Particulars of the Money unjustly 
taken hy Callypermud Bose, Banian to the HonorahU 
Charles iStuart, Baquire, at Burdwan, and amounting 
to Sicca Rupees 1,01,675" (thdt is, 11,785?.), — a 
large sum to be received by a person in that subor- 
dinate situation. 

The minuteness with which these accounts appear 
to have been kept, and the precision with which the 
date of each particular, sometimes of very small sums, 
is stated, give them the appearance of authenticity,' 
as far as it can be conveyed on the face or in the 
construction of such accounts, and, if they were for- 
geries, laid them open to an easy detection. But 
no detection is easy, when no inquiry is made. It 
appears an offence of the highest order in the Di- 
rectors concerned in this business, when, not satis- 
fied with leaving such charges so long unexamined, 
they should venture to present to the king's servants 
the object of them for the highest trust which they 
have to bestow. If Mr. Stuart was really guilty, 
the possession of this post must furnish him not only 
with the means of renewing the former evil practices 
charged upon him, and of executing them upon a 
still larger scale, but of oppressing those unhappy 
persons who, under the supposed protection of the 
faith of the Company, had appeared to give evidence 
concerning his former misdemeanors. 

This attempt in the Directors was the more sur- 
prising, when it is considered that two committees 
of tliis House were at that very time sitting upon an 
inquiry that related directly to their conduct, and 
that of their servants in India. 

It was m the same spirit of defiance of Pariiament, 
that at the same time they nominated Mr. Sulivan,' 



son to the then Chairman of the Court of Mr. soii. 
Directors, to the succession to the same uonatuie 
high trust in India. On these appoint- ,^inu 
ments, your Committee thought it proper '°*'"" 
to make those inquiries which the Court of Directors 
thought proper to omit. Tliey first conceived it fit- 
ting to inquire what rank Mr. Sulivan bore in the 
service ; and they thought it not unnecessary here 
to state the gradations in the service, according to 
the established usage of the Company. 

The Company's civil servants generally go to In- 
dia as writers, in which capacity they serve the Com- 
pany jive years. The next step, in point of rank, is 
to be a factor, and next to that a junior merchant ; 
in each of which capacities they serve the Company 
three years. They then rise to the rank of senior 
merchant, in which situation they remain till called 
by rotation to the Board of Trade. Until the pass- 
ing of the Regulation Act, in 1773, seniority enti- 
tled them to succeed to the Council, and finally gave 
them pretensions to the government of the Presidency. 
The above gradation of the service, your Commit- 
tee conceive, ought never to be superseded by the 
Court of Directors, without evident reason, in per- 
sons or circumstances, to justify the breach of an an- 
cient order. The names, whether taken from civil 
or commercial gradation, are of no moment. Tlie 
order itself is wisely established, and tends to pro- 
vide a natural guard against partiality, precipitancy, 
and corruption in patronage. It affords means and 
opportunities for an examination into character ; and 
among the servs ats it secures a strong motive to pre- 
serve a fair reputation. Your Committee find that 
no respect whatsoever was paid to this gradation in 


VOL. Till. 






the instance of Mr. Sulivan, nor is there any rea- 
son assigned for departing from it. They do not 
find that Mi. Sulivan had ever served the Company 
in any ono of the above capacities, but was, in the 
year 1777, abruptly brought into the service, and 
sent to Madras to succeed as Persian Translator and 
Secretary to the Council. 

Your Committee have found a letter from Mr. 
Sulivan to George Womb well and Wiiiium Devaynes, 
Esquires, Chairman and Deputy-Chairman of tho 
Court of Directors, stating that he trusted Jus appli- 
cations would have a place in their deliberations when 
Madras aflFairs were taken up. Of what nature those 
applications were your Committee cannot discover, 
as no traces of them appear on tlie Company's rec- 
ords, — nor whether any proofs of his ability, even 
as Persian Translator, which might entitle him to a 
preference to tho many servants in India whose study 
and opportunities afforded them the means of becom- 
ing perfect masters of that language. 

On the above letter your Committee find that the 
Committee of Correspondence proceeded ; and on 
their recommendation the Court of Directors unani- 
mously approved of Mr. Sulivan to be appointed to 
succeed to the posts of Secretary and Persian Trans- 

raK^wlo^of Conformably to the orders of the court, 
office.. Mr. Sulivan succeeded to those posts ; and 
the President and Council acquainted the Court of 
Directors that they had been obeyed. About five 
months after, it appears that Mr. Sulivan thought fit 
to resign the office of Persian Translator, to which he 
had been appointed by the Directors. In April, 1780, 
Mr. Sulivan is commended for his great diligence as 



Secretary; in August following he obtains leave to 
accompany Mrs. Sulivan to Bengal, whence she is to 
proceed to Europe on account of her health ; and he 
is charged with a commission from the President 
and Council of Fort St. George to obtain for that 
settlement supplies of grain, troops, and money, from 
the Governor-General and Council of Bengal. In 
October the Governor-General requests permission 
of the Council there to employ Mr. Sulivan as his 
Aimtant, for that he had experienced (between his 
arrival in Bengal and that time) the abilities of Mr. 
Sulivan, and made choice of him as completely quali- 
fied for that trust; also requests the board to appoint 
him Judge-Advocate-General, and likewise to apply 
to the Presidency of Madras for him to remain in 
Bengal without prejudice to his rank on their estab- 
lishment: which ■ everal requests the board at Madras 
readily comrV s "^h, notwithstanding their natural 
sensibility t . ss of a Secretary of such ability 
and diligenc i 'ley had described Mr. Sulivan to 


On the 5th of December following, the President 
and Council received a letter from Bengal, requesting 
that Mr. SuUvan might be allowed to keep his rank. 
This request brought on some discussion. A Mr. 
Freeman, it seems, who had acted under Mr. Sulivan 
as Sub-Secretary whilst his principal obtained so much 
praise for his diligence, addressed the board on the 
same day, and observed, " that, since Mr. Sulivan's 
arrival, Ae [Mr. Freeman] had, without intermission, 
done almost the tvhole of the duty allotted to the post 
of Secretary, which it was notorious Mr. Sulivan had 
paid but little attention to; and neither his inclination 
or duty led him to act any longer as Mr. Sulivan's 





1 1 



m ? 




i. i 


m ' 

lf* I 

Hi- 1 



Here your Committee cannot avoid remarking the 
direct contradiction which this address of Mr. Free- 
man's gives to the letter from the President and 
Council to the Court of Directors in April, 1780, 
wherein Mr. Sulivau is praised for his " diligence and 
attention in his office of Secretary." 

The Presid<!!it and Council do not show any dis- 
pleasure at Mr. Freeman's representation, (so contra- 
ry to their own,) the tru'h of which they thus tacitly 
admit, but agree to write to the Governor-General 
and Council, " that it could not be supposed that 
they could carry on the public business for any length 
of time without the services of a Secvtary and Clerk 
of Appeals, two offices that required personal attend- 
ance, and which would be a general injury to the 
servants on their establishment, and in particular to 
the person who acted in those capacities, as they 
learnt that Mr. Sulivan had been appointed Judge- 
Advocate-General in Bengal, — and to request the 
Governor-General and Council to inform Mr. Sulivan 
of their sentiments, and to desire him to inform them 
whether he meant to return to his station or to re- 
jnain in Bengal." 

On the 5th December, as a mark of their approba- 
tion of Mr. Freeman, who had so plainly contradicted 
their opinion of Mr. Sulivan, the President and Coun- 
cil agree to appoint him to act as Secretary and 
Clerk of Appeals, till Mr. Sulivan's answer should ar- 
rive, with the emoluments, and to confirm him there- 
in, if Mr. Sulivan should remain in Bengal. 

On the 14th February, 1781, the President and 
Council received a letter from Bengal in reply, and 
stating their request that Mr. Sulivan might reserve 
the right of returning to his original situation on the 

fi / 



Madras establishmeut, if the Court of Directors shoiUd 
disapprove of his being transferred to Bengal, lo 
Squest the board at Madras declare U.ey ha.^ 
no objection: and here tl . matter rests; the Court 
of Directors not having given any tokens of approba- 
tion or disapprobation of the transaction. 

Such is the history of Mr. Sulivan's service from 
the tune of his appointment ; such were the qualifica- 
tions, and such the proofs of assiduity and dihgence 
given by him in holding so many incompa ible offices 
(as well as being engaged in other deahngs, which 
will appear in their place,) when, after three years 
I ulto^y residence in India, he was thought worthy 
to be nominated to the succession to the Supreme 
Council. No proof whatsoever of distinguished ca- 
paci y ia any Une preceded his ongmal appointment 
[o the service : so that the whole of ^is ^tness for the 
Supreme Council rested upon his conduct ajid char- 
acter since his appointment as Persian Transkto- 

Your Committee find that his Majesty has not yet 
given his approbation to the nomination, made by the 
Court of Directors on the 30th of August, 1781, of 

Melrs. Stuart and Sulivan to --«« ^'.^003^ 
Council on the first vacancies, though tbe Cou^' JP; 
plied for the royal approbation so long ago as the 19th 
of September, 1781 ; and in these instances the kmg s 
Lusters performed their duty, in withholding their 
Tomitenance from a proceeding so exceptionable and 
of so dangerous an example. 

Your Comnittee, from a full view of the situation 
and duties of the Court of Directors are of opinion 
that effectual means ought to be taken for regu at- 
h.g that court in such a manner as to prevent either 
rivalship with or subserviency to their servants. It 




1 1 


;t > 



might, therefore, be proper for the House to consider 
whether it is fit that those who are, or hare been 
within some given time. Directors of the Company, 
should be capable of an appointment to any offices 
in India. Directors can never properly govern those 
for whose employments they are or may be them- 
selves candidates ; they can neither protect nor coerce 
them with due impartiality or due authority. 

If such rules as are stated by your Committee un- 
der this head were observed in the regular service 
at home and abroad, the necessity of superseding the 
regular service by strangers would be more rare ; 
and whenever the servants were so superseded, those 
who put forward other candidates would be obliged 
to produce a strong plea of merit and ability, which, 
in the judgment of mankind, ought to overpower pre- 
tensions so authentically established, and so rigor- 
ously guarded from abuse. 

The second object, in this part of the 
plan, of the act of 1773, namely, that of 
inspection by the ministers of the crown, ap- 
pears not to have been provided for, so as to draw 
the timely and productive attention of the state on 
the grievances of the people of India, and on the 
abuses of its government. By the Regulating Act, the 
ministers were enabled to inspect one part of the cor- 
respondence, that which was receiv^^' in England, 
but not that which went outward They might 
know something, but that very imperfectly and un- 
systematically, of the state of affairs ; but they were 
neither authorized to advance nor to retard any 
measure taken by the Directors in consequence of 
that state: they were not provided even with suffi- 
cient means of knowing what any of these measures 

of poirera to 
rainistera of 

■fji i 



were. Aud this imperfect information, together >»ith 
the want of a direct call to any specific duty, might 
have, in some degree, occasioned that remissness 
which rendered even the imperfect powers originally 
given by the act of 1773 the less efficient. Tins de- 
fect was in a great measure remedied by a subse- 
quent act ; but that act was not passed until the year 


Your Committee find that during ^^3 ^^J" 
whole period which elapsed from 1773 .o .iocuTs. 
the commencement of 1782 disorders and abuses 
of every kind multiplied. Wars contrary to pohcy 
and contrary to public faith were carrying on in 
various parts of India. The allies, dependants, and 
Bnbiects of the Company were everywhere oppressed ; 
dissensions in the Supreme Council prevailed, and 
continued for the greater part of that time ; the con- 
tests between the civil and judicial powers threatened 
that issue to which they came at last, an armed resistr 
ance to the authority of the king's court of justice; 
the orders which by an act of Parliament the ser- 
vants were bound to obey were avowedly and on 
principle contemned; until at length the fatal ef^ect^ 
of accumulated misdemeanors abroad and neglects at 
home broke out in the alarming manner which your 
Committee have so fully reported to this House.t 

In all this time the true state of the sev- p™e..unjr,^ 
eral Presidencies, and the real conduct ot ,n„jv.uo^^ 
the British government towards the natives, 
was not at all known to Parliament: it seems to 
have been very imperfectly known even to ministers. 
Indeed, it required an unbroken attention, and much 

• Vide Secret Committee Reports, 
t Vide Select Committee Reports, 1781 







comparison of facts and reasonings, t<^ form a true 
judgment on tliat difficult and complicated system 
of politics, revenue, and commerce, whilst aflFairs were 
only in their progress to that state whif,h produced 
the present inquiries. Therefore, whilst the causes 
of their ruin were in the height of their operation, 
both the Company and the natives were understood 
by the public as in circumstances the most assured 
and most flourishing; insomuch that, whejiever the 
affairs of India were brought before Parliament, as 
they were two or three times during that period, the 
only subject-matter of discussion anywise important 
was concerning the sums which might be taken out 
of the Company's surplus profits for the advantage of 
the state. Little was thought of but the disengage- 
ment of the Company from their debts in England, 
and to prevent the servants abroad from drawing 
upon them, so as that body might be enabled, with- 
out exciting clamors here, to afford the contribution 
that was demanded. All descriptions of persons, ei- 
ther here or in India, looking solely to appearances 
at home, the reputation of the Directors depended 
on tiie keeping the Company's sales in a situation to 
support the dividend, tiiat of the ministers depended 
on the most lucrative bargains for the Exchequer, and 
that of the servants abroad on the largest invest- 
ments ; until at length there is great reason to appre- 
hend, that, unless some very substantial reform takes 
place in the management of the Company's affairs, 
nothing will be left for investment, for dividend, or 
for bargain, and India, instead of a resource to the 
public, may itself come, in no great length of time, 
to be reckoned amongst the public burdens. 
In this manner the inspection of the ministers of 




the crown, the great cementing regulation ^','„'^»»« 
of the whole act of 1773, has, along with J^^u. 
all the others, entirely failed in its effect. 

Your Committee, in observing on the fail- ,.ii„r,m 
ure of this act, do not consider the intrinsic ^'"*- 
defects or mistakes in the law itself as the solo cause 
of its miscarriage. The general policy of the nation 
with regard to this object has been, they conceive, 
erroneous ; and no remedy by laws, under the preva 
lence of that policy, can be effectual. Before any 
remedial law can have its just operation, the affairs, 
of India must be restored to their natural order. 
The prosperity of the natives must be previously 
secured, before any profit from them whatsoever is 
attempted. For as long as a system prevails which 
regards the transmission of great wealth to this coun- 
try, either for the Company or the state, as its prin- 
cipal end, so long wiU it be impossible that those 
who are the instruments of that scheme should not 
be actuated by the same spirit for their own private 
purposes. It will be worse : they will support the 
injuries done to the natives for their selfish ends by 
new injuries done in favor of those before whom they 
are to account. It is not reasonably to be expected 
that a public rapacious and improvident should be 
served by any of its subordinates with disinterested- 
ness or foresight. 


In order to open more fully the tendency of the 
policy which has hitherto prevailed, and that the 
House may be enabled, in any regulations which 
may be made, to follow the tracks of the abuse, and 






to apply an appropriated remedy to a particular dis- 
temper, your Committee think it expedient to con- 
sider in some detail the manner in Tvhich India is 
connected with this kingdom, — which is the second 
head of their plan. 

The two great links by which this connection is 
maintained are, first, the East India Company's com- 
merce, and, next, the government set over the na- 
tives by that company and by the crown. The first 
of these principles of connection, namely, the East 
India Company's trade, is to be first considered, not 
only as it operates by itself, but as having a power- 
ful influence over the general policy and the particu- 
lar measures of the Company's government. Your 
Committee apprehend that the present state, nature, 
and tendency of this trade are not generally under- 

du f^eri' ^"*^^ *^® acquisition of great territorial 
Silfl7to revenues by the East India Company, the 
•iiver. trade with India was carried on upon tho 
common principles of commerce, — namely, by send- 
ing out such commodities as found a demand in the 
India market, and, where that do nd was not ade- 
quate to the reciprocal call of the European market 
for Indian goods, by a large annual exportation of 
treasure, chiefly in silver. In some years tliat ex- 
port has been as high as six hundred and eighty 
thousand pounds sterling. The other European com- 
panies trading to India traded thither on the same 
footing. Their export of bullion was probably larger 
in proportion to the total of their commerce, as their 
commerce itself bore a much larger proportion to 
the British than it does at this time or has done 
for many years past. But stating it to be equal to 





the British, the wliole of the silver sent annually 
from Europe into Hindostan could not fall very short 
of twelve or thirteen hundred thousand pounds a 
year. This influx of money, poured into India by 
an emulation of all the commercial nations of Eu- 
rope, encouraged industry and promoted cultivation 
in a high degree, notwithstanding the frequent wars 
with which that country was harassed, and the vices 
which existed in its internal government. On the 
other hand, the export of so much silver was some- 
times a ubject of grudging and uneasiness m Eu- 
rope, and a commerce carried on through such a 
medium to many appeared in speculation of doubtful 
advantage. But the practical demands of commerce 
bore down those speculative objections. The East 
India commodities were so essential for animating 
all other branches of trade, and for completing the 
commercial circle, that all nations contended for it 
with the greatest avidity. The English company 
flourished under this exportation for a very long se- 
ries of years. The nation was considerably benefited 
both in trade and in revenue ; and the dividends of 
the proprietors were often high, and always sufficient 
to keep up the credit of the Company's stock in heart 

and vigor. 

But at or very soon after the acquisition how ijri. 
of the territorial revenues to the English .mc 
company, the period of which may be reckoned as 
completed about the year 1765, a very groat revolu- 
tion took place in commerce as well as in dominion ; 
and it was a revolution wliich affected the trade of 
Hindostan with all other European nations, as well 
as with that in whose favor and by whose power it 
was accomplished. From that time bullion was no 






longer regularly exported by the li'iri! Ii Tisl Tidiu 
Coinpauy to Bciigul, or any part of findostun • and 
it was 80OU exported in much smaller qnaiit.ieb l>y 
any other nation. A new way of supplying tho inir- 
ket of Europe, by means of tlie British power and 
influence, was invented : a species of trado (if sucli 
it may be called) by which it is absolutely impossi- 
ble that India should not bo radically and irretriev- 
ably ruined, although our possessions there were to 
bo onlorcd and governed upon principles diamet- 
rically opposite to those which now prevail in the 
system and practice of the British company's admin- 

laTettmanu. ^ Certain portion of the revenues of Ben- 
gal has been for many years set apart to 
be employed in the purchase of goods for exporta- 
tion ♦o England, and this is called the Investment. 
The greatness of this investment has been the stand- 
ard by which the merit of tho Company's principal 
servants has been too generally estimated ; and this 
main cause of the impoverishment of India has been 
generally taken as a measure of its wealth and pros- 
perity. Numerous fioets of large ships, loaded with 
the most valuable commodities of the East, annually 
arriving in England, in a constant and increasing 
succession, imposed upon the public eje, and natu- 
rally gave rise to an opinion of the happy condition 
and growing opulence of a country wliose surplus 
productions occupied so vast a space iii to commer- 
cial world. This export from India seemed to im- 
ply also a reciprocal supply, by which the trading 
capital employed in those productions w is continu- 
ally strengthened and enlarged. But the payment 
of a tribute, and not a beneficial commerce to that 


~^ [iiFif I dli^mm 




country, woi-c this Bpeciou!* and dclusiTC jppcw- 


Tho fame of a groat territ irlal revenue, , ^^ 
exaggerated, as is usual in stich cases, bo- ' "* 
youd oven its value, and ti.o al-undaut 1^ rtunes of riie 
Company's officers military a .d civiL which t wed 
into Europe with a full tide, ru .ed in tlie propn* tors 
of East India stock a promatu. > dr iio of partakuig 
with their servants in tho iruita of liiat splendid ad- 
venture. Government also thouglit they could not 
be too early in their cHims for a i^aro of what they 
considered themselves as entit! d to in every foreign 
acquisition made by the pow- r of this king*' .m, 
throutrh whatever hands or by whatever meaa:* it 
was I .ade. These two parties, after some strugi'^e, 
came to an agreement to divide between them t • 
profits which their speculation proposev. to n- uz« 
in En -I. lid from the territorial revenue iu liongal. 
About twu hundred iltousand poimds wa> added to 
the annual dividends of the {.roprietors. Four hun- 
dred thousai.d was given to tl state, inch, a. led 
to the old dividend, brought n constant charge upon 
the mixed interest of Indian ade and revenue of 
eight hundred thousand pounds a year. ThiS was to 
be provided for at all events. 

By that vast demand on tli- territorial fund, the 
correct! v-s and qualificat s wliich might liave been 
.-radui >• ipplied to the ouses in India commerce 
and go^cruraent were reudered extremel. difficult. 

The pract-'-e of an in^ wtn^eni frc 'u tlio progr,..- 
revL lue began in the year 1766, oefoi o '»»'=•""*"- 
arraugements were made for securing and appro 
p ting an assured fund for that purpose in tho 
treasury, and for diffusing ii from thence upon the 








y ', 



manufactures of the country in a just proportion and 
in the proper season. There was, indeed, for a short 
time, a surplus of cash in the treasury. It was in 
some shape to be sent home to its owners. To send it 
out in silver was subject to two manifest inconven- 
iences. First, tlie country would be exhausted of its 
circulating medium. A scarcity of coin was already 
felt in Bengal. Cossim Ali Khfin, (the Nabob whom 
the Company's servants had lately set up, and newly 
expelled,) during the short period of his power, had 
exhausted the country by every mode of extortion ; in 
his flight he carried off an immense treasure, which 
has been variously computed, but by none at less than 
three millions sterling. A country so exhausted of 
its coin, and harassed by three revolutions rapidly 
succeeding each other, was rather an object that stood 
in need of every kind of refreshment and recruit than 
one which could subsist under new evacuations. The 
next, and equally obvious inconvenience, was to the 
Company itself. To send silver into Europe would 
be to send it from the best to the worst market. 
When arrived, the most profitable use which could 
be made of it would be to send it back to Bengal for 
the purchase of Indian merchandise. It was neces- 
sary, therefore, to turn the Company's revenue into 
its commerce. The first investment was about five 
hundred thousand pounds, and care was taken after- 
wards to enlarge it. In the years 1767 and 1768 it 
arose to seven hundred thousand, 
conaequen- Tlus ncw systcm of trade, carried on 
«8 of them, through the medium of power and public 
revenue, very soon produced its natural effects. 
The loudest complaints arose among the natives, 
and among all the foreigners who traded to Bengal. 



It must unquestionably have thrown the whole mer- 
cantile system of the country into the greatest con- 
fusion. "With regard to the natives, no expedient 
was proposed for their relief. The case was serious 
with respect to European powers. The Presidency 
plainly represented to the Directors, that some iigree- 
ment should be made with foreign nations for pro- 
viding their investment to a cei ilu amount, or that 
the deficiencies then subsisting must terminate in an 
open rupture with France. The Directors, nressod 
by the large payments in England, were not free to 
abandon their system ; and all possible means of di- 
verting the manufactures into the Company's invest- 
ment were still anxiously sought and pursued, un- 
til the difficulties of the foreign companies were at 
length removed by the natural flow of the fortunes 
of the Company's servants into Europe, in the man- 
ner which will be stated hereafter. 

But, with all these endeavors of the Presidency, 
the investment sunk in 1769, and they were even 
obliged to pay for a part of the goods to private mer- 
chants in the Company's bonds, bearing interest. 
It was plain that this course of business could not 
hold. The manufacturers of Bengal, far from being 
generally in a condition to give credit, have always 
required advances to be made to them ; so have the 
merchants very generally, — at least, since the prev- 
alence of the English power in India. It was neces- 
sary, therefore, and so the Presidency of Calcutta 
represented the matter, to provide beforehand a 
year's advance. This required great efforts ; aiid 
they were made. Notwithstanding the famine in 
1770, which wasted Bengal in a manner dreadful 
beyond all example, the investment, by a variety 

I, •] 







of successive expedients, many of them of the most 
dangerous nature and tendency, was forcibly kept 
up; and even in that forced and unnatural state it 
gathered strength almost every year. The debts con- 
tracted in the infancy of the system were gradually 
reduced, and the advances to cor^tractors and manu- 
facturers were regularly made; so that the goods 
from Bengal, purchased from the territorial revenues, 
from the sale of European goods, and from the prod- 
uce of the monopolies, for the four years which ended 
with 1780, when the investment from the surplus reve- 
nues finally closed, were never less than a million ster- 
ling, and commonly nearer twelve hundred thousand 
poimds. This million is the lo ^est value of the goods 
sent to Europe for which no sati faction is made.* 
from'SS^ About an hundred thousand pounds a year 
Hnd^hSW ^® ^^^ remitted from Bengal, on the Com- 
ijenci«. pany's account, to China; and the whole 
of the product of that money flows into the direct 
trade from China to Europe. Besides this, Bengal 
sends a regular supply in time of peace to those Pres- 
idencies which are unequal to their own establish- 
ment. To Bombay the remittance in money, bills, or 
goods, for none of which there is a return, amounts 
to one hundred and sixty thousand pounds a year at 
a medium. 

Bxporti The goods which are exported from Eu- 

itid to"'" rope to India consist chiefly of military and 
^'*- naval stores, of clothing for troops, and of 
other objects for the consumption of the Europeans 
residing there ; and, excepting some lead, copper uten- 

• The aale, to the amount of abont one hundred tLousand pounds 
annually, of the export from Great Britain ought to be deducted from 
this million. 





sils and shoct copper, woollen cloth, and other com- 
modities of little comparative value, no sort of mer- 
chandise is sent from England that is in demand for 
the wants or desires of the native inhabitants. 

When an account is taken of the inter- ^f^^ 
course (for it is not commerce) which is >»enu 
carried on between Bengal and England, the perni- 
cious effects of the system of investment from revenue 
will appear in the strongest point of view. In that 
view, the whole exported produce of the country, so 
far as the Company is concerned, is not exchanged in 
the course of barter, but is taken away without any 
return or payment whatsoever. In a commercial 
light, therefore, England becomes annually bankrupt 
to Bengal to the amount nearly of its whole dealing ; 
or rather, the country has suffered what is tanta- 
mount to an annual plunder of its manufactures and 
its produce to the value of twelve hundred thousand 

In time of peace, three foreign companies ,„^g„ 
appear at first sight to bring their contri- ~°p«"«^ 
bution of trade to the supply of this continual dram. 
These are the companies of France, Holland, and 
Denmark. But when the object is consid- con.e^^ 
ered more nearly, instead of relief, these 
companies, who from their want of authority in the 
country might seem to trade upon a principle merely 
commercial, will be found to add their full proportion 
to the calamity brought upon Bengal by the destruc- 
tive system of the ruling power ; because the greater 
part of the capital of all these companies, and perhaps 
the whole capital of some of them, is furnished exact- 
ly as the British is, out of the revenues of the coun- 
try. The civil and military servants of the English 
vol.. vni. * 

» is I I 


.. J 








East India Company being restricted in drawing bills 
upon Europe, and none of tbem ever making or pro- 
posing an establishment in India, a very great part 
of their fortunes, well or ill gotten, is in all probabil- 
ity thrown, as fast as required, into the i.'fish of these 

In all other countries, the revenue, following the 
natural course and order of things, arises out of their 
commerce. Here, by a mischievous inversion of that 
order, the whole foreign maritime trade, whether 
English, French, Dutch, or Danish, arises from the 
revenu'^'! ; and these are carried out of the country 
without producing anything to compensate so heavy 
a loss. 

Your Committee have not been able to 
discover the entire value of the investment 
made by foreign companies. But, as the investment 
which the English East India Company derived from 
its revenues, and even from its public credit, is for 
the year 1783 to be wholly stopped, it has been pro- 
posed to private persons to make a subscription for 
an investment on their own account. This invest- 
ment is to be equal to the sum of 800,000?. Another 
loan has been also made for an investment on the 
Company's account to China of 200,000?. This makes 
a million ; and there is no question that much more 
could be readily had for bills upon Europe. Now, as 
there is no doubt that the whole of the money remit- 
ted is the property of British subjects, (none else hav- 
ing any interest in remitting to Europe,) it is not un- 
fair to suppose that a very great part, if not the whole, 
of what may find its way into this new channel is not 
newly created, but only diverted from those channels 
in which it formerly ran, that is, the cash of the for- 
eign trading companies. 





Besides the investment made in goods by ^*^»"^*' 
foreign companies from the funds of British chin*. 
subjects, these subjects have been for some time in 
the practice of sending very great sums in gold and 
silver directly to China on their own account. In 
a memorial presented to the Governor-General and 
Council, in March, 1782, it appears that the princi- 
pal money lent by British subjects to one company 
of merchants in China then amounted to seven mil- 
lions of dollars, about one million seven hundred 
thousand pounds sterling ; and not the smallest par- 
ticle of silver sent to China ever returns to India. 
It is not easy to determine in what proportions this 
enormous sum of money has been sent from Madras 
or from Bengal; but it equally exhausts a country 
belonging to this kingdom, whether it comes from 
the one or from the other. 

But that the greatness of all these drains, Eevenue 

13 above the 

and their effects, may be rendered more inTestment, 
visible, your Committee have turned their 
consideration to the employment of those parts of 
the Bengal revenue which are not employed in the 
Company's own investments for China and for Eu- 
rope. "What is taken over and above the invest- 
ment (when any investment can be made) from tlie 
gross revenue, either for the charge of collection or 
for civil and military establishments, is in time of 
peace two millions at the least. From the portion of 
that sum wliich goes to the support of civil govern- 
ment the natives are almost wholly excluded, as they 
are from the prhicipal collections of revenue. With 
very few exceptions, they are only employed as ser- 
vants and agents to Europeans, or in the inferior 
departments of collection, when it is absolutely im- 



I Id 




possible to proceed a step without their assistance. 
For some time after the acquisition of the territorial 
Allowance reTcnue, the siim of 420,000Z. a year was 
Bengal. paid, according to the stipulation of a treaty, 
to the Nabob of Bengal, for the support of his govern- 
ment. This sura, however inconsiderable, compared to 
the revenues of the province, yet, distributed through 
the various departments of civil administration, served 
in some degree to preserve the natives of the better 
sort, particularly those of the Mahomedan profession, 
from being utterly ruined. The people of that persua- 
sion, not being so generally engaged in trade, and not 
having on their conquest of Bengal divested the an- 
cient Gentoo proprietors of their lands of inheritance, 
had for their chief, if not their sole support, the share 
of a moderate conqueror in all offices, civil and milita- 
ry. But your Committee find that this arrangement 
was of a short duration. Without the least regard to 
the subsistence of this innocent people, or to the faith 
of the agreement on which they were brought under 
the British government, this sum was reduced by a 
How re- ^^"^ treaty to 32O,000Z., and soon after, (up- 
duced. on a pretence of the present Nabob's minori- 
ty, and a temporary sequestration for the discharge of 
his debts,) to 160,000?. : but when he arrived at his 
majority, and when the debts were paid, ( if ever they 
were paid,) the sequestration still contintied ; and sri 
far as the late advices may be understood, the al- 
lowance to the Nabob appears still to stand at the 
reduced sum of 160,000?. 

The other resource of the Mahomedans, 
and of the Gentoos of certain of the higlier 
castes, was the army. In tliis army, nine tenths of 
which consists of natives, no native, of whatever de- 






Bcription, holds any rauk higher than that of a Suhah- 
dar Commandant, that is, of an officer below the rank 
of an English subaltern, who is appointed to each 
company of the native soldiery. 

Your Committee here would be under- An^«nai». 
stood to state the ordinary establishment: p',;,°;^ 
for the war may have made some alteration. »"«"">• 
All the honorable, all the lucrative situations of the 
army, all the supplies and contracts of whatever hpc- 
cies that belong to it, are solely in the hands of the 
English ; so that whatever is beyond the mere sul>- 
sistence of a common soldier and some officers of a 
lower rank, together with the immediate expenses of 
the English officers at their table, is sooner or later, 
in one shape or another, sent out of the country. 

Such was the state of Bengal even in time of pro- 
found peace, and before the whole weight of the pub- 
lic charge fell upon that unhappy country for the 
support of other parts of India, which have been des- 
olated in such a manner as to contribute little or 
nothing to their own protection. 

Your Committee have given this short comparative 
account of the effects of the maritime traffic of Ben- 
gal, when in its natural state, and as it has stood 
since the prevalence of the system of an investment 
from the revenues. But before the forma- Fomier 
tion of that system Bengal did by no means trade, 
depend for its resources on its maritime commerce. 
Tlie inland trade, from whence it derived a very 
great supply of silver and gold and many kinds of 
merchantable goods, was very considerable. Tlie 
higher provinces of the Mogul Empire were then i)op- 
ulous and opulent, and intercourse to an immense 
amount was carried on between them and Bengal 



A great trade also passed through these provinces 
from all the countries on the frontier of Persia, and 
the frontier provinces of Tartar/, as well as from 
Surat and Baroach on the western side of Lidia. 
These parts opened to Bengal a communication with 
the Persian Gulf and with the Red Sea, and through 
them with the whole Turkish and the maritime parts 
of the Persian Empire, besides the commercial in- 
tercourse which it maintained with those and many 
other countries through its own seaports. 

During that period the remittances to tlie Mogul's 
treasury from Bengal were never very large, at least 
for any considerable time, nor very regularly sent; 
and the impositions of the state were soon repaid 
with interest through the medium of a lucrative 
commerce. But the disorders of Persia, since the 
death of Kouli EhS,n, have wholly destroyed the trade 
of that country ; and the trade to Turkey, by 
Jidda and Bussorah, which was the great- 
est and perliaps best branch of the Indian trade, 
is very much diminished. The fall of the tlirono 
of the Mogul emperors has drawn with it tliat of 
the great marts of Agra and Delhi. The utmost 
confusion of the northwestern provinces followed tliis 
revolution, which was not absoluioly complete until 
it received the last hand from Great Britain. Still 
greater calamities have fallen upon the fine provinces 
of Rohilcund and Oude, and on the countries of Co- 
rah and Allahabad. By the operations of the British 
arms and influence, they are in many places turned 
to mere deserts, or so reduced and decayed as to 
afford very few materials or means of commerce. 
Such is the actual condition of the trade 
of Bengal since the establishment of the 

And the 
trade to 

trade In tbe 



British iwwor there. The commerce of the Caruatic, 
as far as the inquiries of your Committee have ex- 
tended, did not appear with a better aspect, even be- 
fore the invasion of Hyder Ali Kh&n, and the conse- 
quent desolation, which for many years to come must 
exclude it from any considerable part of the traduig 

system. . 

It appears, on the examination of an intelligent per- 
son concerned in trade, and who resided at Madras 
for several years, that on his arrival there, which 
was in the year 1767, that city was in a flourishing 
condition, and one of the first marts in India; but 
when he left it, in 1779, there was little or no trade 
remaining, and but one ship belonging to the whole 
place. The evidence of this gentleman purports, that 
at his first acquaintance witii the Carnatic it was a 
well-cultivated and populous country, and as such con- 
sumed many articles of merchandise ; that at his de- 
parture ho left it much circumscribed in trade, greatly 
in the decline as to population and culture, and with 
a correspondent decay of the territorial revenue. 

Your Committee find that there has also been from 
Madras an investment on the Company's account, tak- 
ing one year with another, very nearly on the same 
principles and with the same effects as that from Ben- 
gal ; and they think it is highly probable, that, besides 
the large sums remitted directly from Madras to Cln- 
iia, there has likewise been a great deal on a private 
account, for that and other countries, invested in the 
ca«h of foreign European powers trading on the coast 
of Coromandel. But your Committee have not ex- 
tended thoir inquiries relative to the comnurce of the 
countries dor-ondent on Madras so far as they have 
done with re",- ird to Bengal. Tliey have reason to ap- 





pruhcnd that the condition is rather worso ; but if 
tiio Houso requires a more miuute examination of 
this important subject, your Committee is willing to 
enter into it without delay. 



HiTHEBTO your Committee has considered this sys- 
tem of revenue investment, substituted in the place 
of a commercial link between India and Europe, so 
far as it affects India only : they are now to consider 
it as it affects the Company. So long as that corpo- 
ration continued to receive a vast quantity of mer- 
chantable goods without any disbursement for the 
purchase, so long it possessed wherewithal to contin- 
ue a dividend to pay debts, and to contribute to the 
state. But it must have been always evident to con- 
siderate persons, that tliis vast extraction of wealtli 
from a country lessening in its resources in propor- 
tion to the increase of its burdens was not calculated 
for a very long duration. For a while the Company's 
servants kept up tliis investment, not by improving 
commerce, manufacture, or agriculture, but by forci- 
bly raising the lai d-rents, on the principles and in 
the manner hereafter to bo described. When these 
extortions disappointed or threatened to disappoint ex- 
pectation, hi order ;o purvey for the avarice which 
raged in England, tliey sought for expedients in 
breaches of all the agreements by whicli they were 
bound by ..iiy payment to the country powers, and 
in exciting tlisturbances among all the neighboring 
princes. Stimulating their ambition, and fomenting 





their mutual animosities, they sold to them recipro- 
cally their commou servitude uud ruin. 

The Goveruor-Geueral, Mr. Hastiugs, and the 
Council, toll the Directors, " that t' o supply for the 
iuvestmeut has arisen from canual id extraordinary 
resources, which they could not expect alwayt to 
command." In an earlier minute he expresses him- 
self still more distinctly : he says, " If the internal 
resources of a state faU it, or are not equal to its oo- 
cational wants, whence can it obtain immediate relief 
but from external means ? " Indeed, the investment 
has not been for any long time the natural product 
of the revenue of Bengal. When, by the vast charge 
and by the ill return of an evil political and military 
traffic, and by a prodigal increase of establishments, 
and a profuse conduct in distributing agencies and 
contracts, they found themselves under difficulties, 
instead of being cured of their immoral and impoli- 
tic delusion, they plunged deeper mto it, and were 
drawn from expedient to expedient for the supply of 
the investment into that endless chain of wars which 
this House by its resolutions has so justly condemned. 
At home these measures were sometimes counte- 
nanced, sometimes wuiked at, sometimes censured, 
but always with an acceptance of whatever prodt 
they afforded. 

At length the funds for the investment and for 
these wars together could no longer be supplied. In 
tlio year 1778 the provision for the investment from 
the revenues and from the monopolies stood very 
high. It was estimated at a million four hundred 
thousand pounds ; and of this it appears that a great 
deal was realized. But this was the high flood-tido 
of the investment; for m that year they announce 

'if 1 i 










its probable decline, and that such exteusive supplies 
could not bo continued. The adrances to tlio Board 
of Trade became loss punctual, and many disputes 
arotio about the time of making them. However, 
knowing tlmt all their credit at homo depended on 
the invcKimeut, or upon an opinion of ita magnitude, 
whilst they repeat their warning of a probuble defi* 
cienuy, and chat tlieir " finances bore on unfavorable 
aspect," in the year 1779 they rate their invest'uent 
still higher. But their payments becoming less and 
less regular, and the war carrying away all the sup- 
plies, at length Mr. Hastings, in December, 1780, de- 
nounced sentence of approaching dissolution to this 
system, and tells the Directors that "he bore too 
high a respect for their characters to treat them witli 
the management of a preparatory and gradual intro- 
duction to an unpleasing report : that it is the only 
tubttantial information he shall have to convey iu 
that letter." Iu confidence, therefore, of their for 
titude, he tells them without ceremony, '* that there 
will be a necessity of making a largo reduction, or 
possibly a total iuspension, of their investment; — 
that they had already been reduced to borrow near 
700,000Z. This resource," says ho, " cannot last ; it 
must cease at a certain period, and that perhaps not 
far distant." 

He was not mistaken in his prognostic. Loans now 
becoming the regular resoui'ce for retrieving the 
investment, whose ruin was inevitable, the Council 
enable the Board of Trade, in April, 1781, to grant 
certificates for government bonds at eight per cent 
interest for about 650,000^. The investment was 
fixed at 900,000i. 

But now another alarming system appeared. These 



now bonds overloaded the murket Those which had 
been formerly ih>ucd were at a discouiit; the K );ud 
of Trade was obliged to advance, thorotbro, a IVurtli 
more than usual to the contractors. This seem-d lo 
satisfy that descrijition of dealers. Uut as thobo vsiso 
bought on agency limited to no terms of mutual 
advantage, and the bonds on ll»e new issue fullinj: 
from three to eigiit, nine, and tci. per cent discount, 
the agents were unali' • to furnish at the usual juices. 
Accordingly a discount was settled on such term:- as 
could bo made : the lowest discount, and that at w 
places only, was at 1* ir per cent; which, with tlie 
interest on the bonds, uiade (besides the earlier ad- 
vance) at the least twelve per cent additional charge 
upon all goods. It was evident, that, as the invest- 
ment, instead of being supported by the revenues, 
was sunk by the fall of their credit, so the net reve- 
nues were diminished by the daily accumulation of 
au interest accruing on account of the investment. 
What was done to alleviate one complaint thus ag- 
gravating the other, and at length proving pernicious 
to both, thir. trade on bonds likewise came to its i»c- 


Your Committee has r.-ason to think that the bonds 
have since that time sunk to a discount much greater 
even than what is now stated. The Board of Trade 
justly denominates their resource for that year " the 
sinking credit of a paper currency, laboring, from the 
uncommon scarcity of specie, under disadvantages 
scarcely surmountable." From this lliey value tiiem- 
selvcs"on having eifected an ostensible p',. ision, at 
least for that investment." For 1788 nothing appears 
even ostensible. 

By this failure a total revolution ensued, of the most 

.( i 



extraonliuary uature, and to which your Committee 
wisli to call the particular attention of the House. 
For the Council-General, in their letter of the 8th of 
April, 1782, after stating that they were disappoint- 
ed in their expectations, (how grounded it does not 
appear,) " thought that they should be able to spare 
a sum to the Board of Trade," — tell the Court of 
Directors, " that they had adopted a new method of 
keephig up the investment, by private subscribers 
for eighty lacs of rupees, which will find cargoes for 
their ships on the usual terms of privilege, at the risk 
of the individuals, and is to be repaid to them accord- 
ing to the produce of the sales in England" — and they 
tell the Directors, that " a copy of the plan makes a 
number in their separate dispatches over land." 

It is impossible, in reporting this revolution to the 
House, to avoid remarking with what fidelity Mr. 
Hastings and his Council have adhered to the mode 
t)f transmitting their accounts which yoiir Committee 
found it necessary to mark and censure in their First 
Report. Its pernicious tendency is there fully set 
forth. They were peculiarly called on for a most 
accurate state of their affairs, in order to explain the 
necessity of having recourse to such a scheme, as well 
as for a full and correct account of the scheme itself. 
But they send only the above short minute by one 
dispatch over land, whilst the copy of the plan itself, 
on which the Directors must form their judgment, is 
sent separately in another dispatch over land, which 
has never arrived. A tl -rd dispatch, which also con- 
tained the plan, was sent by a sea conveyance, and 
arrived late. The Directors have, for very obvious 
reasons, ordered, by a strict injunction, that they 
should send duplicates of all their dispatches by 





every ship. The spirit of this rule, perhaps, ought 
to extend to every mode of conveyance. In this 
case, so far from sending a duplicate, they do not 
send even one perfect account. They announce a 
plan by one conveyance, and they send it by another 
conveyance, with other delays and other risks. 

At length, at nearly four months' distance, the 
plan has been received, and appears to be substan- 
tially that which had been announced, but develop- 
ing in the particulars many new circumstances of the 
greatest importance. By this plan it appears that 
the subscription, even in idea or pretence, is not for 
the use of the Company, but that the subscribers are 
united into a sort of society for the remitting their 
private fortunes: the goods, indeed, are said to be 
shipped vn the Company's account, and they are directs 
ed to be sold on the same account, and at the usual 
periods of sales ; but, after the payment of duties, and 
such other allowances as tliey choose to make, in the 
eleventh article they provide " that the remainder of 
the sales shall revert to the anhscribers, and be declared 
to be their property, and divided in proportion to their 
respective shares." Tlie compensation which thoy 
allow in this plan to their masters for their brokerage 
is, that, if, after deducting all the charges which tliey 
impose, " the amount of the sales should be found to 
exceed two shillings and twopence for the current 
rupee of the invoice account, it shall be taken by tlie 
Company." For the management of this concern in 
Bengal tliey choose commissioners by their own au- 
thority. By the same authority they form them into 
a body, they put them under rules and regulations, 
and they empower them also to make regulations of 
tlieir own. They remit, by the like authority, the 






duties to which all private trade is subject ; and they 
charge the whole concern with seven per cent, to be 
paid from tlie net produce of the sales in England, as 
a recompense to the commissioners : for this the com- 
missioners contract to bear all the charges on the 
goods to the time of shipping. 

The servants having formed this plan of trade, and 
a new commission for the conduct of it, on their pri- 
vate account, it is a matter of consideration to know 
who the commissioners are. They turn out to be 
the three senior servants of the Company's Board of 
Trade, who choose to take upon them to be the fac- 
tors of otiiers for large emoluments, whilst they re- 
ceive salaries of two thousand pounds and fifteen hun- 
dred pounds a year from the Company. As the Com- 
pany liave no other fund than the new investment 
from whence they are to be paid for the care of their 
servants' property, this commission and those salaries 
being to take place of their brokerage, they in effect 
render it very difficult, if not impossible, for them to 
derive advantage from their new occupation. 

As to the benefit of this plan : besides preventing 
he lo3S which must happen from the Company's ships 
returning nnpty to Europe, and the stopping of all 
trade between India and England, the authors of it 
state, that it will " open a new channel of remittance, 
and abolish the practice, by precluding the necessity, 
of remitting private fortunes by foreign bottoms, and 
that it may lead to some permanent mode for remit- 
tance of p •• te fortunes, and of combining it with 
the regulai covision of the Company's investment, 
— that it will yield some profit to the Company with- 
out risk, and the national gain will be the same as 
upon the regular trade." 





As to the combination of this mode of romittanco 
with the Company's investment, nothing can bo af- 
firmed concerning it tmtil some satisfactory assurance 
can be held out that such an investment can ever be 
realized. Mr. Hastings and the gentlemen of the 
Council have i )t afforded any ground for such an 
expectation. That the Indian trade may become a 
permanent vehicle of the private fortunes of the Com- 
pany's servants is very probable, — that is, as perma- 
nent as the means of acquiring fortunes in India ; but 
that some profit will accrue to the Company is al)so- 
lutely impossible. The Company are to bear all the 
charge outwards, and a very great part of that home- 
wards; and their only compensation is the surplus 
commission on the sale of other people's goods. The 
nation will undoubtedly avoid great loss and detri- 
ment, which would be the inevitable consequence of 
the total cessation of the trade with Bengal and the 
ships returning without cargoes. But if this tempo- 
rary expedient should be improved into a sy^^tem, no 
occasional advantages to be derived from it would ho 
sufficient to balance the mischiefs of finding a great 
Parliamentary corporation turned into a vehicle for 
remitting to England the private fortunes of tliose for 
whose benefit the territorial possessions in India are 
in effect and substance under this project to be solely 


By this extraordinary scheme the Company is to- 
tally overturned, and all its relations inverted. From 
being a body concerned in trade on their own ac- 
count, and employing tl eir servants as factors, the 
servants have at one stroke taken the whole trade 
into t'.iuir own hands, on their own capitiil of 
800,000Z., at their own risk, and the Company art' 

i{ r 






become agents and factors to them, to sell by com- 
mission their goods for their profit. 

To enable your Committee to form some judgment 
upon the profit which may accrue to the Company 
from its new relation and employment, they directed 
that an estimate should be made of the probable pro- 
ceeds of an investment conducted on the principles 
of that intended to be realized for 1783. By this es- 
timate, which is subjoined,* it appears to your Com- 

* Estimate of the Sale Amonnt and Net Proceeds in England of 
the Cargoes to be sent from Bengal, agreeable to the Flan re- 
ceived by Letter dated the 8tb April, 1782. 
This calcalatioa supposes the eighty lac investments will be equal to 
the tonnage of five ships. 

* 1. By sale amount of 
piece-goods and 
raw silk . . £1,300,000 
Discount 6^ per 
cent dllowed the 
buyers . . . 84,500 

2. To cnstom 

jE 320,000 
freight . . . 200,000 
5 per cent duty on 

£1,300,000 . . 65,000 
2 do. warehouse 

room do. . . 26,000 
7 do. commission 

on £604,500 .42,315 

. 562,185 

< 6. " Balance 



' « 

• 1. The snie amount is computed on an average of the sales of the two 
last years' imports. 

f 2. The cu:.t<im is computed on an average of what was pai<I on piece- 
Konds and raw silk of said imports, adding additional imposts. 

« 3. Tlie -liips going out of this season, (1782,) by which the above in- 
vestment is expected to be sent home, are taken up at 47/. 6». per ton, tor 
the lioinewiinl ciirgo ; this charce amounts to 35,815/. eiich ship ; the ad- 
ditional wrtites to the men, which the Company pay, and a very small 
clnuL'e for demurrage, will increase the freight, &c., to 40,000/. per ship, 
iigroeablc to iibove estimate. 

J 4. Tlie dutv of five per cent is charged by the Company on the gro^s 
sale amount of all private trade licensed to he brought from India: the 
amount of this duty is the only benefit tiie Conipany are likely to receive 
from the suhsciiption investment. 

• 5. This charge is likewise made on private trade goods, and is little, 
if anvthing, more than the real expense the Company are at on account 
of the same; therefore no benefit will probably arise to the Company 
from it on the sale of the said investment. 

' 6. ThiB is the sum which will probably be realized in England, and 
is oaly equal to U- f>d. per rupee, on the eighty lacs subscribed. 




mittee, that, so far from any surplus profit from this 
transaction, the Bengal adventurers themselves, in- 
stead of realizing 2«. 2d. tlie rupee, (the standard 
they fix for their payment,) will not receive the 1«. 
M. which is its utmost value in silver at the Mint, 
nor probably above 1«. 5d. With this certain loss 
before their eyes, it is impossible that they can ever 
complete their subscription, unless, by management 
among themselves, they should be able to |)rocure the 
goods for their own account upon other terms tlian 
those on which they purchased them for their mas- 
ters, or unless they have for the supply of the Com- 
pany on their hands a quantity of goods which they 
cannot otherwise dispose of. This latter case is not 
very improbable, from their proposing to send ten 
sixteenths of the whole investment in silk, — which, 
as will be seen hereafter, the Company has prohibited 
to be sent on their account, as a disadvantageous ar- 
ticle. Nothing but the servants being overloaded can 
rationally account for their choice of so great a pro- 
portion of so dubious a commodity. 

On the state made by two reports of a committee 
of the General Court in 1782, their affairs were even 
then reduced to a low ebb. But under the arrange- 
ment announced by Mr. Hastings and his colleagues, 
it does not appear, after this period of the servants' 
investment, from what fund the proprietors are to 
make any dividend at all. The objects of the sale 
from whence the dividend is to arise are not their 
goods: they stand accountable to others for the 
whole probable produce. The state of the Compa- 
ny's commerce will therefore become an object of 
serious consideration : an affair, as your Committee 
apprehends, of as much difficulty as ever tried the fao- 
VOL. vin. 5 



I .-I 



ulties of this House. For, on the one hand, it is plain 
that the system of providing the Company's import 
into Europe, resting almost wholly by an investment 
from its territorial revenues, has failed: during its 
continuance it was supported on principles fatal to 
the prosperity of that country. On the other, 
if the nominal commerce of the Company is suffered 
to be carried on for tlie account of the servants 
abroad, by investmg the emoluments made in their 
stations, these emoluments are therefore iiiclusively 
authorized, and with them the practices from which 
they accme. All Parliamentary attempts to reform 
this system will be contradictory to its institution. 
If, for instance, five hundred thousand pounds ster- 
ling annually be necessary for this kind of invest- 
ment, any regulation which may prevent the acqui- 
sition of that sum operates against the investment 
which is the end proposed by the plan. 

On this new scheme, (which is neither calculated 
for a future security nor for a present relief to the 
Company,) it is not visible in what manner the set- 
tlements in India can be at all upheld. The gentle- 
men in employments abroad call for the whole prod- 
uce of the year's investment from Bengal ; but for 
the payment of the counter-investment from Europe, 
which is for tlie far greater part sent out for the sup- 
port of their power, no provision at all is made : they 
have not, it seems, agreed that it should be charged 
to their account, or that any deduction should be 
made for it from the produce of their sales in Lead- 
enhall Street. How far such a scheme is preferable 
to the total suspension of trade your Committee can- 
not positively determine. In all likeliliood, extraor- 
dinary exjiedients were necessary ; but the causes 



which induced this necessity ought to be more fully 
inquired into ; for the last step in a series of conduct 
may be justifiable upon principles that suppose great 
blame in those which preceded it. 

After your Committee had made the foregoing ob- 
servations upon the plan of Mr. Hastings and his col- 
leagues, transmitted to the Court of Directors, an 
extract of the Madras Consultations was a few days 
ago laid before us. This extract contains a letter 
from the Governor-General and Council of Bengal to 
the Presidency of Fort St. George, which atfords a 
very striking, though to your Committee by no means 
an unexpected, picture of the instability of their opin- 
ions and conduct. On the 8th of April the servants 
had regularly formed and digested the above-men- 
tioned plan, which was to form the basis for the in- 
vestment of their own fortunes, and to furnish the sole 
means of the commercial existence of their masters. 
Before the 10th of the following May, which is the 
date of their letter to Madras, they inform Lord 
Macartney that they had fundamentally altered the 
whole scheme. " Instead," say they, " of allowing 
the subscribers to retain an interest in the goods, they 
are to be provided entirely on account of the Compa- 
ny, and transported at their risk; and the suljscribers, 
instead of receiving certificates payable out of the 
produce of the sales in Europe, are to be granted re- 
ceipts, on the payment of their advances, bearing an 
interest of eight per cent per annum, until excliaiiged 
for drafts on the Court of Directors, payable 365 days 
after sight, at the rate of two shillings per current 
rupee, — which drafts shall be granted in the proper 
time, of three eighths of the amount subscribed, on 
the 31st of December next, and the remaining five 
eighths on the 31st of December, 1783." 




1 I 




The plan of April divests the Company of all prop- 
erty in Bengal goods transported to Europe : but in 
recompense they are freed from all the risk and ex- 
pense, they are not loaded with interest, and they are 
not embarrassed with bills. The plan of May rein- 
states them in their old relation : but in return, their 
revenues in Bengal are charged with an interest of 
eight per cent on the sum subscribed, until bills shall 
be drawn ; they are made proprietors of cargoes pur- 
chased, under the disadvantage of that interest, at 
their own hazard ; they are subjected to all losses ; 
and they are involved in Europe for payments of bills 
to the amount of eighty lacs of rupees, at two shillings 
the rupee, — that is, in bills for eight hundred thou- 
sand pounds sterling. It is probably on account of 
the previous interest of eight per cent that the value 
of the rupee on this scheme is reduced. Mr, Hastings 
and his colleagues announce to Lord Macartney no 
other than the foregoing alteration in their plan. 

It is discouraging to attempt any sort of observa- 
tion on plans thus shifting their principle whilst their 
merits are under examination. The judgment formed 
on the scheme of April has nothing to do with the 
project of May. Your Committee has not suppressed 
any part of tho reflections which occurred to them on 
the former of these plans : first, because the Compa- 
ny knows of no other by any regular transmissions ; 
fcccondly, because it is by no means certain that be- 
fore the expiration of June the Governor-General and 
Council may not revert to the plan of April. They 
speak of that plan as likely to be, or make a part of 
one that shall be, permanent. Many reasons are al- 
leged by its authors in its favor, grounded on the 
state of their aflfairs ; none whatever are assigned for 




». ' 


the alteration. It is, indeed, morally certain that per- 
sons who had money to remit must have made the 
same calculation which has been made by the direc- 
tions of your Committee, and the result must have 
been equally clear to them, — which is, that, instead 
of realizing two shillings and twopence the rupee on 
their subscription, as they proposed, they could never 
hope to see more than one shilling and ninepeiice. 
This calculation probably shook the main pillar of 
the project of April, But, on the other hand, as the 
subscribers to the second scheme can have no certain 
assurance that the Company will accept bills so far 
exceeding their allowance in this particular, the ne- 
cessity of remitting their fortunes may beat them 
Lack to their old ground. The Danish Company was 
the only means of remitting which remained. At- 
tempts have been made witli success to revive a Por- 
iuguese trade for that purpose. It is by no means 
clear whether Mr. Hastings and his colleagues will 
adhere to either of the foregoing plans, or, indeed, 
whether any investment at all to that amount can be 
realized ; because nothing but the convenience of re- 
mitting the gains of British subjects to London can 
support any of these projects. 

The situation of the Company, under this perpetual 
variation in the system of their investment, is truly 
jierplexing. The manner in which they arrive at 
any knowledge of it is no less so. The letter to Lord 
Macartney, by which the variation is discovered, was 
not hiteiided for transmission to the Directors. It 
was merely for the information of those who were 
admitted to a share of the subscription at Madras. 
When Mr. Hastings sent this information to those 
subscribers, he miglit well enough have pi\.-sumcd an 


\ i 




event to happen which did happen, — tlmt is, that a 
vessel might bo dispatched from Madras to Europe : 
and indeed, by that, and by every devisable niean?., ho 
ought not only to have apprised the Directors of tliia 
most material change in the plan of the investment, 
but to have entered fully into the grounds and rea- 
sons of his making it. 

It appears to your Committee that the ships which 
brought to England the plan of the 8th of April did 
not sail from Bengal until the 1st of May. If the 
change had been in contemplation for any time before 
the 30th of April, two days would have sufficed to 
send an account of it, and it miglit have arrived 
along with the plan which it affected. If, therefore, 
such a change was in agitation before the sailing of 
the ships, and yet was concealed when it might have 
been commuuicatud, the concealment is ctinsurable. 
It is not improbable that some change of the kind 
was made or meditated before the sailing of the ships 
for Europe : for it is hardly to be imagined that rea- 
sons wholly unlooked-for should appear for setting 
aside a plan concerning the success of which the 
Council-General seemed so very confident, that a new 
one should bo proposed, that its merits should be 
discussed among the moneyed men, that it shunld 
be adopted in Council, and officially ready for trans- 
mi '^sion to Madras, in twelve or tliirtcen days. In 
this perplexity of plan and of transmission, the Court 
of Directors may have made an arrangement of iheir 
affairs on llie groundwork of the first scheme, which 
was officially and authentically convey* d to them. 
The fundamental alteration of that plan in India 
might require another of a very different kind in 
England, which the arrangements taken in conso- 





qucuce of tho first might make it difficult, if not 
iiupossible, to execute. Wliat must add to ''je con- 
fusion is, tliat tho alteration has not tho regular and 
official authority of the original plan, and may be 
presumed to indicate witli certainty nothing more 
than that tho business is again afloat, and that no 
scheme is finally determined on. Thus tho Company 
it left witliout any fixed data upon which they can 
make a rational disposition of their affairs. 

Tlie fact is, that the principles and economy of 
tlio Company's trade have been so completely cor- 
rupted by turning it into a vehicle for tribute, that, 
whenever circumstances require it to be replaced 
again upon a bottom truly commercial, hardly any- 
tliiug but confusion and disasters can bo expected 
as the first results. Even before the acquisition of 
tlie territorial revenues, the system of tho Compa- 
ny's commerce was not formed upon principles tho 
most favorable to its prosperity ; for, whilst, on the 
cue hand, that body received encouragement by royal 
and Parliamentary charters, was invested with sev- 
eral ample privileges, and even with a delegation 
of the most essential prerogatives of the crown, — 
on the other, its commerce was watched v»ith an 
invidious jealousy, as a species of deaUng dangerous 
to the national interests. In that light, with regard 
to tlie Company's imports, there was a total prohi- 
bition from domestic iiso of tlio most considerable 
articles of their trade, — that is, of all silk stuffs, 
and stained and painted cottons. Tlie British mar- 
ket was in a great measure interdicted to tne British 
trader. Whatever advantages might to the 
general trading intoiesis of the kn!g;'om by this 
restraint, its East India interest was undoubtedly 







■ 02 





L25 III 1.4 





^S"^ <S53 East Moin StrMt 

RS Roch«st«r, Nm York 14609 USA 

i^S (7'6) ♦B2-0300-Phon. 

^B (716) 288-59B9-FOX 





injured by it. The Company is also, and has been 
from a very early period, obliged to furnish the Ord- 
dance with a quantity of saltpetre at a certain price, 
without any reference to the standard of the mar- 
kets either of purchase or of sale. With regard to 
their export, they were put also under difficulties 
upon very mistalien notions; for they were obliged 
to export annually a certain proportion of British 
manufactures, even though they should find for them 
in India none or but an unprofitable want. Tliis 
compulsory export might operate, and in some in- 
stances has operated, in a manner more grievous 
than a tax to the amount of the loss in trade : for 
the payment of a tax is in general divided in un- 
equal portions between the vender and consumer, 
the largest part falling upon the latter; in the case 
before us the tax may be as a dead charge on the 
trading capital of the Company. 

The spirit of all tliese regulations naturally tended 
to weaken, in the very original constitution of the 
Company, the main-spring of the commercial ma- 
chine, the principles of profit and loss. And the mis- 
chief arising from an inattention to those principles 
has constantly increased with the increase of its pow- 
er. For when tlie Company had acquired the rights 
of sovereignty in India, it was not to be expected 
that the attention to profit and loss would liave in- 
creased. The idea of remitting tribute in goods 
naturally produced an indifference to their price 
and quality, — the goods themselves appearing little 
else than a sort of package to the tribute. Merc)mu- 
dise taken as tribute, or bought in lieu of it, can 
never long be of a kind or of a price fitted to a mar- 
ket which stands solely on its commercial reputation. 




Tlie iiidiflFereiice of the mercantile soveroiga to liis 
trading advantages naturally relaxed the diligence of 
his subordinate facto '-magistrates through all their 
gradations and in all their functions ; it gave rise, at 
least so far as the principal was concerned, to much 
neglect of price and of goodness in their purchases. 
If ever they showed any extraordinary degrees of ac- 
curacy and selection, it would naturally be in favor 
of that interest to which they could not be indiffer- 
ent. The Company might suffer above, the natives 
might suffer below; the intermediate party must 
profit to the prejudice of both. 

Your Committee are of opinion that the Company 
is now arrived at that point, when, the investment 
from surplus revenue or from the spoil of war ceas- 
ing, it is become much more necessary to fix its com- 
merce upon a commercial basis. And this opinion 
led your Committee to a detailed review of all the 
articles of the Indian traffic upon whicli the profit 
and loss was steady; and we have chosen a period 
of four years, during the continuance of the revenue 
investment, and prior to any borrowuig or any ex- 
traordinary drawing of bills, in order to find out how 
far the trade, under circumstances when it will be 
necessary to carry it on by borrowing, or by bills, 
or by exportation of bullion, can be sustained in 
the former course, so as to secure the capital and 
to afford a reasonable dividend. And your Com- 
mittcc find that in the first four years the invest- 
ment from Bengal amounted to 4,176,o25Z. ; upon 
2,260,277Z. there was a gain of 186,337^., and upon 
1,916,248Z. a loss of 705,566? • so that the excess 
.of loss above gain, upon the whole of tlie foregoing 
capital, was in the four years no less than 519,229i. 

< ;i-r'i 




If the trade vere confined to Bengal, and the Com- 
pany were to trade on those terms upon a capital 
borrowed at eight per cent Indian interest, their rev- 
euues in that province would be soon so overpow- 
ered with debt, that those revenues, instead of sup- 
porting the trade, would be totally destroyed by it. 
If, on tlie other hand, the Company traded upon bills 
with every advantage, far from being in a condition 
to divide the smallest percentage, their bankruptcy 
here would be inevitable. 

Your Committee then turned to the trade of the 
other factories and Tresidencies, and they constantly 
found, that, as the power and dominion of the Com- 
pany was less, their profit on the goods was greater. 
The investments of Madras, Bombay, and Bencoolen 
have, in tho foregoing four years, upon a capital of 
1,151,176;., had a gain upon tlie whole of 329,622i. 
The greatest of all is that of Bencoolen, which, on 
a capital of 76,571^, produced a profit of 107,760Z. 
This, however, is but a small branch of the Com- 
pany's trade. The trade to China, on a capital of 
1,717,403Z., produced an excess of gain amounting to 
874,096Z., wlu h is about fifty per cent. But such 
was the evil intlueuce of the Bengal investment, that 
not only the profits of the Chinese trade, but of all 
the lucrative branches taken together, were so sunk 
and ingulfed in it, that the whole profit on a capital 
of 7,04o,lG4i. reached to no more than 684,489^., 
that is, to 189,G07Z. less than the profit on the Chi- 
nese trade alone, — less than the total profits on tho 
gainful trades taken together, 520,727Z. 

It is very remarkable, that in the year 1778, when 
the Bengal investment stood at the highest, that is, 
so high as l,223,316i., though the Chinese trade pro- 



duced an excess of gain in that year of 209,243?., 
and that no loss of moment could be added to that 
of Bengal, (except about 45,000Z. on the Bombay 
trade,) the whole profit of a capital of 2,040,787^ 
amounted only to the sum of 9,480Z. 

The detail of the articles in which loss was incurred 
or gain made will be found in the Appendix, No. 24. 
Tlie circumstances of the time have rendered it neces- 
sary to call up a vigorous attention to this state of the 
trade of the Company between Europe and India. 


The internal trade of Bengal has next attracted 
the inquiries of your Committee. 

The great and valuable articles of the Company's 
investment, drawn from the articles of internal trade, 
are raw silk, and various descriptions of piece-goods 
made of silk and cotton. These articles are not un- 
der any formal monopoly ; nor does the Company at 
present exercise a declared right of preemption with 
regard to them. But it does not appear that the trade 
in these particulars is or can be perfectly free,— not 
so much on account of any direct measures taken to 
prevent it as from the circumstances of the country, 
and the manner of carrying on business there : for 
the present trade, even in these articles, is built from 
the ruins of old monopolies and preemptions, and 
necessarily partakes of the nature of its materials. 

In order to show in .vhat manner manufactures and 
trade so constituted contribute to the prosperity of the 
natives, your Committee conceives it proper to take, 
in this place, a short general view of the progress of 
the Eui^iisli policy with relation to the commerce of 

M f'sl 






Bengal, and the several stages and gradations by which 
it has been brought into its actual state. Tlie modes 
of abuse, and the means by which commerce has suf- 
fered, will be considered in greater detail under the 
distinct heads of those objects which have chiefly suf- 
fered by them. 

During the time of the Mogul government, the 
princes of that race, who omitted nothing for the 
encouragement of commerce in their dominions, be- 
stowed very large privileges and immunities on the 
English East India Company, exempting them from 
several duties to which their natural-born subjects 
were liable. The Company's dustuck, or passport, 
secured to them this exemption at all the custom- 
houses and toll-bars of the country. The Company, 
not being able or not choosing to make use of their 
privilege to the full extent to which it might be car- 
ried, indulge! their servants with a qualified use of 
their passport, under which, and in the name of the 
Company, they carried on a private trad j, either by 
themselves or in society with natives, and thus found 
a compensation for the scanty allowances made to 
them by their masters in England. As the country 
government was at that time in the fulness of its 
strength, and that this immunity existed by a double 
connivance, it was naturally kept within tolerable 

But by the revolution in 1757 the Company's ser- 
vants obtained a mighty ascendant over the native 
princes of Bengal, who owed their elevation to the 
British arms. The Company, which was new to that 
kind of power, and not yet thoroughly apprised of its 
real character and situation, con' 'dered itself still as 
a trader in the territories of a foreign potentate, in 

r J 

< n 



the prosperity of whoso country it had neither inter- 
est nor duty. Tho servants, with the same ideas, fol- 
lowed their fortune in the channels in which it had 
hitherto ran, only enlarging them with tho enlarge- 
ment of t' - ■" power. For their first ideas of profit 
were not o: il ; nor were their oppressions those of 
ordinary djs^otism. Tlie first instruments of their 
power were formed out ol evasions of their ancient 
subjection. Tho passport of the Company in tlie 
hands of its servants was no longer under any re 
straint ; and in a \ -ry short time their immunity 
l)cgan to cover all the merchandise of the country. 
Cossim Ali Khan, tho second of the Nabobs whom 
they had set up, was but ill disposed to tho instru- 
ments of his greatness. He bore the yoke of this im- 
perious commerce with the utmost impatience : he 
saw his subjects excluded as aliens from their own 
trade, and tho reven"es of the prince overw helmed in 
^» in of the commerce of Lis dominions. Finding 
^ .eiterated remonstrances on the extent and abuse 
of the passport ineffectual, he had recourse to an un- 
expected expedient, which was, to declare his r-^solu- 
tion at once to annul all the duties on trade, setting 
it equally free to subjects and lu foreigners. 

Never was a method of defeating the oppressions of 
monopoly more forcible, more simple, or more equita- 
ble: no sort of plausible objection could be made; 
and it was in vain to think of evadmg it. 1* was 
therefore met with the confidence of avowca and 
determined injustice. The Preridency oi Calcutta 
openly denied to the prince the power of protecting 
the trade of his subjects by the remission of his own 
duties. It was evident that his authority drew to its 
period: many reasons tud motives concurred, and 

F4i ^ 


,T iti 



V :' 

his fall was hastened by thu odium of the oppressions 
which he exercisod vuluutarily, as well as uf those to 
which he was obliged to submit. 

Wlicn this example was made, Jaffier Ali Khiin, 
who had been deposed to make room for the last act- 
or, was brought from penury and exile to a station 
the terms of which he could not misunderstand. 
During his life, and in tlie time of his children who 
succueded to him, parts of tlie teiritorial revenue 
were assigned tu the Company ; and tlie whob, under 
the name of residency at the V ' ' "ourt, was 
brought, directly or indirectly, u jontrol of 

British subjects. The Gompan >iCj armed 

with authorities delegated from ^mal ' :vern- 

ment, or attended with what was a stronger guard, 
the fame of their own power, appeared as magistrates 
in the markets in which tliey dealt as traders. It was 
impossible for the natives in general to distinguish, 
in the proceedings of the same persons, what was 
transacted on the Company's account from what was 
(lone ou their own ; and it will ever be so difficult to 
draw this line of distinction, that as long as the Com- 
pany does, directly or indirectly, aim at any advan- 
tage to itself in the purchase of any commodity what- 
ever, so long will it be impracticable to prevent the 
servants availing themselves of the same privilege. 

The servants, therefoi'e, for themselves or for their 
employers, monopolized every article of trade, foi- 
eign and domestic: not only the raw merchantable 
commodities, but the manufactures; and not only 
these, but the necessaries of life, or what in these 
countries habit has confounded with them, — not on- 
ly silk, cotton, piece-goods, opium, saltpetre, but not 
vufroquently salt, tobacco, betel-nut, and the _;;raiu 




of most ordinary consumption. lu the name of tho 
country governmout they laid on or took off, and at 
their pleasure heightened or lowered, all duties upon 
goods: the whole trade of the country was cither 
destroyed or in shackles. The acquisition of tlie 
Duaund, in 17Go, bringing the English into the iut 
mediate government of the country in its most essen- 
tial branches, extended and confirmed all tho former 
means of monopoly 

In tho progress oi i ese ruinous measures through 
all their details, innumerable grievances v, ere suffered 
by the native inhabitants, which were represented in 
the strongest, that is, their true colors, in England. 
Whilst the far greater part of tho British in India 
were in eager pursuit of the forced and exorbitant 
gains of a trade carried on by power, contests natu- 
rally arose among the competitors : those who were 
overpowered by their rivals became loud in their com- 
plaints to the Court of Directors, and were very capa- 
ble, from experience, of pointing out every mode of 

The Court of Directors, on their part, began, 
though very slowly, to perceive that tho country which 
was ravaged by this sort of commerce was their own. 
Tliese complaints obliged the Directors to a strict 
examination into the real sources of the mismanage- 
ment of their concerns in India, and to lay the foun- 
dations of a system of restraint on the exorbitancies 
of their servants. Accordingly, so early as the year 
1765, they confine them to a trade only in articles 
of export and import, and strictly prohibit them 
from all lealing in objects of internal consumption. 
About the same time the Presidency of Calcutta 
found it necessary to put a restraint upon themselves, 





or at least to make show of a disposition (with which 
the Directors api^sar much satisfied) to keep their 
oNvii enormous power within bounds. 

But whatever migiit have been the mtentions ei- 
tlior of the Directors or the rresidency, both found 
themselves unequal to the execution of a plan which 
went to defeat the projects of almost all the Lnghsh 
ill India, — possibly comprehending some who were 
makers of the regulations. For, as the complamt 
of the countrv or as their own inte ' p/edomumted 
with the Pre., .ncy, they were alw; . shifting from 
one course to the other ; so that it beccuo as impos- 
sible for the natives to know upon what principle to 
.rround any commercial speculation, from the uncer- 
tainty of the law under which they acted, as it was 
when they were oppressed by power witliout any coior 
of law at all : for the Directors, in a few months after 
they had given these tokens of approbation to tlie 
above regulations in favor of the country trade, tell 
the Presidency, "It is with concern we see m ev^ry 
page of your Consultations restrictions, limitatu », 
prohibitions, affecting various articles of trade." On 
their side, the Presidency freely confess that tlieso 
monopolies of inland trade "were the foundation of 
all the bloodsheds, massacres, and ^ confusions which 
have happened of late in Bengal." 

Pressed in this urgent manner, the Di.-ectors came 
more specifically to the grievance, and at once annul 
all the passports with which their servants traded 
without duties, holding out means of compensation, 
of which it does not appear that any advantage was 
taken. In order that the duties which existed should 
no longer continue to burden the trade either of the 
servants or natives, they ordered that a number of 

■; -r 


n, .1 (>j.'i!iii|; if IJjii.o. H \ , I'l tt' 

» •'I 


i g gii i i 

■) '!■ 



I ^ 


* ''i 







i , 







oppressive toll-bars should be taken away, and the 
whole number reduced to nine of the most consider- 

When Lord Clive was sent lo Bengal to effect a ref- 
ormation of the many abuses which prevailed there, 
he considered monopoly to be so inveterate and deep- 
ly rooted, and the just rewards of the Company's ser- 
vants to be so complicated with that injustice to the 
country, that tlie latter could not easily be removed 
without taking away the former. He adopted, there- 
fore, a plan for dealing in certain articles, which, as 
he conceived, rather ought to be called " a regulated 
and restricted trade " than a formal monopoly. By 
this plan he intended that the profits should be dis- 
tributed in an orderly and proportioned manner for 
the reward of services, and not seized by each indi- 
vidual according to the measure of his boldness, dex- 
terity, or influence. 

But this scheme of monopoly did not subsist long, 
at least in that mode and for those purposes. Three 
of the grand monopolies, those of opium, salt, and 
saltpetre, were succes^i^ively by the Company taken 
into their own hands. The produce of the sale of the 
two former articles was applied to the purchase of 
goods for their investment ; the latter was exported 
in kind for tlieir sales in Europe. Tlie senior ser- 
vants liad a certain share of emolument allotted to 
tliem from a commission on the revenues. The jun- 
ior servants were rigorously confined to salaries, on 
which thoy were unable to subsist according to their 
rank. Tliey were strictly ordered to abstain from all 
dealing in objects of internal commerce. Tliose of 
export and import were left open to young men with- 
out mercantile experience, and wlioUy unprovided 


VOL. vni. 





with mercantile capitals, but abundantly furnished 
with large trusts of the public money, and with all 
the powers of an absolute government. In this sit- 
uation, a religious abstinence from all illicit game 
was prescribed to men at nine thousand miles' dis- 
tance from the seat of the supreme authority. 

Your Committee is far from meaning to justify, or 
even to excuse, the oppressions and cruelties used by 
many in supplying the deficiencies of their regular 
allowances by all manner of extortion; but many 
smaller irregularities may admit some alleviation 
from thence. Nor does your Committee mean to 
express any desire of reverting to the mode (con- 
trived in India, but condemned by the Directors) of 
rewarding the servants of an higher class by a regu- 
lated monopoly. Their object is to point out the 
deficiencies in the system, by which restrictions were 
laid tl t could have little or no effect whilst want 
and power were suffered to be united. 

But the proceedings of the Directors at that time, 
though not altogether judicious, were in many re- 
spects honorable to them, and favorable, in the in- 
tention at least, to the country they governed. For, 
finding their trading capital employed against them- 
selves and against the natives, and struggling in vain 
against abuses which were inseparably connected with 
the system of their own preference in trade, in the 
year 1773 they came to the manly resolution of set- 
ting an example to their servants, and gave up all 
use of power and influence in the two grand articles 
of their investment, silk and piece-goods. They di- 
rected that the articles should be bought at an equal 
and public market from the native merchants ; and 
this order they directed to be published in all the 
principal marts of Bengal. 




Tour Committee are clearly of opinion that no bet- 
ter method of purchase could be adopted. But it soon 
appeared that in deep-rooted and inveterate abuses 
the wisest principles of reform may l)0 made to op- 
erate so destructively as wholly to discredit the de- 
sign, and to dishearten all persons from tlic prose- 
cution of it. The Presidency, who seemed to yield 
with the utmost reluctance to the execution of these 
orders, soon made the Directors feel their evil influ- 
ence upon their own investment ; for they found the 
silk and cotton cloths rose twenty-five per cent above 
their former price, and a further rise of forty por 
cent was announced to them. 


"What happened with regard to raw silk is still 
more remarkable, and tends still more clearly to il- 
lustrate the effects of commercial servitude during 
its unchecked existence, and the consequences which 
may be made to arise from its sudden reformation. 
On laying open the trade, the article of raw silk was 
instantly enhanced to the Company full eiglity per 
cent. The contract made for that commodity, wound 
off in the Bengal method, which used to sell for le?s 
than six rupees, or thirteen shillings, for two pounds' 
weight, arose to nine rupees, or near twenty shillings, 
and the filature silk was very soon after contracted 
for at fourteen. 

The Presidency accounted for this rise by observ- 
ing that the price had before l)een arbitrary, and that 
tlie persons who purveyed for the Company paid no 
more than " what was judged sufficient for the main- 
tenance of the first providers." This fi.ct explains 














i i 






more fully than the most labored description can 
do the dreadful effects of the monopoly on the cul- 
tivators. They had the suffinieney of their mainte- 
nance measured out by ihe judgment of those who 
were to profit by their labor ; and this measure was 
not a great deal more, by their own account, than 
about two thirds of the value of that labor. In all 
probabilitv it was much less, as these dealings rarely 
passed through intermediate hands without leaving 
a considerable profit. These oppressions, it %vill be 
observed, were not confined to the Company's share, 
which, however, covered a great part of the trade ; 
but as this was an article permitted to the servants, 
the same power of arbitrary valuation must have been 
extended over the whole, as the market must be 
equalized, if any authority at all is extended over 
it by those who have an interest in the restraint. 
The price was not only raised, but in the manufac- 
tures the quality was debased nearly in an equal 
proportion. The Directors concaived, with great rea- 
son, that this rise of price and debasement of quality 
arose, not from the effect of a free market, but from 
the servants having taken that opportunity of throw- 
ing upon the market of their masters the refuse 
goods of their own private trade at such exorbitant 
prices as by mutual connivance ..ley were pleased 
to settle. The mischief was greatly aggravated by 
its happening at a time when the Company were 
obliged to pay for their goods with bonds bcai^ig 
an high interest. 

The perplexed system of the Company's concerns, 
composed of so many opposite movements and con- 
tradictory principles, appears nowhere in a more 
clear light. If trade continued under re-^traint, 

1 1s: 

,i) t 

ON ray, affairs of inoia. 


iheir territorial revenues must suffer ')>• clicckiiig 
tlie gcuoi'al prosperity of the country : if tliey set 
it free, means were taken to raise tlie price and de- 
base tlie quality of the goods ; and this again fell 
upon the revenues, out of whicii the payment for 
the goods was to arise. The observations of the 
Company on that occasion are just and sagacious ; 
and they will not permit the least doubt concern- 
ing the poHcy of these un la.ural trades. "The 
amount of our Bengal cargoes, from 1769 to 1773, is 
2,901,194Z. sterling ; and if the avera, j increase of 
price be estimated at twenty-five per ;ent only, the 
amount of such increase is 725,298^. sterlin[j. Tlie 
above circumstances are exceedingly alarming to us ; 
but what must be our coacern, to find by the advices 
of our President and Council of 1773, thnt a further 
advance of forty per cent on Bengal goods was expect- 
ed, auu allowed to be the consequence of advertise- 
ments then published, auth " 'ng a free trade in the 
service ? We find the Dul revenues are in gen- 
eral farmed for five years, and the aggregate increase 
estimated at only 183,170?. sterling (on a supposition 
that such increase will be realized) ; yet if the annual 
investment be sixty lacs, and the advance of price 
tl-iirty per cent oi'ly, such advance will exceed tlip in- 
crease of the revevue hi no lens than 829,330?. stt^-ling.'" 
The indignation which the Directors felt at beiig 
reducf;! to this distressuig situation was expressed 
to the . servants in very strong terms. They attril)- 
uted the whole to their practices, and say, " We are 
far from being convinced that the competition which 
tends to raise the price of goods in Bengal '"o ,»-holly 
between public European companies, or bct\ con mer- 
chants in general wlio exj)ort to foreign 

:.V .1 



w fum t tmm.Mm ivm ok M 



If 1 > 




f ' 

i (( 



we aro rathe, of opinion that the sources of this 
grand evil have been the extraordinary privileges 
granted to iudividuals in our service or under our 
license to trade without restriction throughout the 
provinces of Bengal, and the encouragement they 
have had to extend their trade to the uttermost, even 
in such goods as were proper for our investment, 
hy observing the success of those persons who have 
from time to time found means to dispose of their mer- 
chandise to our Governor and Council, though of so 
bad a quality as to be sold hero with great difficulty, 
after having been frequently refused, and put up at 
tlio next sale without price, to ihe very great dis- 
credit and disadvantage of the Company." In all 
probability the Directors were not mistaken; for, 
upon an inquiry instituted soon after, it was found 
that Cantu Babfl, the banian or native steward and 
manager to Mr. Hastings, (late President,) held two 
of these contracts in his own name and that of his 
son for considerably more than 150,000Z. This dis- 
covery brought on a prohibition from the Court of 
Directors of that suspicious and dangerous dealing 
iu the stewards of persons in high office. The same 
man held likewise farms to the amount of 140,000?. 
a year of the lauded revenue, with the same suspi- 
cious appearance, contrary to the regulations made 
under Mr. Hastings's own administration. 

In the mortifying dilemma to which the Directors 
found themselves reduced, whereby the ruin of the 
revenues either by the freedom or th> restraint of 
trade was evident, they considered the first as most 
rapid and urgent, and therefore once more revert to 
the system of their ancient preemption, and destroy 
that freedom which they had so lately and with so 

III i 




much solemnity proclaimed, and that beforo it could 
be abused or oven ei\joyed. They declare, that, " un- 
willing as we are to return to the farmer coercive By»- 
tern of providing an investment, or to abridge that 
freedom of commerce which has been so lately estab- 
lished in Bengal, yet at the same time finding it our 
indis! -nsablo duty to strike at the root of an evil 
which has been so severely felt by the Company, and 
which can no longer bo supported, we hereby direct 
that all persons whatever in the Company's service, 
or under our protection, be absolutely prohibited, by 
public advertisement, from trading in any of those 
articles whici compose our investment, directly or 
indirectly, except on account of and for the East In- 
dia Company, until their investment is completed." 

As soon as this order wi:s received in Bengal, it 
was construed, as indeed the words seemed directly 
to warrant, to exclude all natives as well as servants 
from the trade, until the Company was supplied. 
The Company's preemption was now authoritatively 
reestablished, and some feeble and ostens'Me regula- 
tions were made to relieve the weavers who might suf- 
fer Ity it. The Directors imagined that the rcestab- 
lishment of their coercive system would remove the 
evil which fraud and artifice had grafted upon one 
more rational and liberal. But they were mistaken ; 
for it only varied, if it did so much as vary, the 
abuse. The servants might as essentially injure 
their interest by a direct exercise of tlieir power as 
by pretexts drawn from the freedom of the na- 
tives,— but with this fatal difference, that the frauds 
upon the Company mrst be of shorter duration un- 
der a scheme of freedom. That state admitted, and 
indeed led to, means of discovery and correction; 



i;-i . 

1)! I 

)■• ! 




whereas the system of coercion was likely to be per- 
manent. It carried force further than served the pur- 
poses of those who authorized it : it tended to covci 
all frauds with obscurity, and to bury all complaint 
in despair. The next year, therefore, that is, in the 
year 1776, the Company, who complained that their 
orders had been extended beyond their intentions, 
made a third revolution in the trade of Bengal. It 
was set free again, — so far, at least, as regarded the 
native merchants, — but in so imperfect a manner 
as evidently to leave the roots of old o,buses in the 
ground. The Supreme Court of Ji'dicature about 
this time (1776) also ulminated a charge against 
monopolies, without any exception of those author- 
ized by the Company: but it does not appear that 
anything very material was done in consequence of it. 
The trade became nominally free ; but the course 
of business established in consequence of coercive mo- 
nopoly was not easily altered. In order to render 
more distinct the principles which led to the estul)- 
lishment of a course and habit of business so very 
difficult to change as long as those principles exist, 
your Committee think it will not be useless here to 
enter into the histo v of the regulations made in the 
fir.t and favorite i..atter of the Company's invest- 
ment, the trade in raw silk, from the commencement 
of these regulations to the Company's perhaps finally 
abandoning all share in the trade which was their 


The trade in raw silk was at all times more popu- 
lar in England than really advantageous to the Com- 
pany. In addition to the old jealousy which pre- 



vailed between the Corapauy and the manufactory 
interest of Eiiglaad, they came to labor under no 
timall odium on account of the distresses of India. 
The public in England perceived, and felt with a 
proper sympathy, the sufferings of the Eastern prov- 
inces in all cuses in which they might be attributed 
to the abuses of power exercised under the Com- 
pany's authority. But they wore not equally sensi- 
ble to the evil? which arose from a system of sacri- 
ficing tho being of that country to the advantage of 
this. Tliey entered very readily into tho former, but 
with regard to the latter were slow and incredulous. 
It is not, therefore, extraordinary that tho Company 
should endeavor to ingratiate themselves with tho 
public by falling in with its prejudices. Thus they 
were led to increase the grievance in order to allay 
the clamor. They continued still, upon a larger 
scale, and still more systematically, that plan of con- 
duct which was the principal, though not the most 
blamed, cause of the dei_ y and depopulation of the 
country committed to their care. 

With that view, and to furnish a cheap supply 
of materials to the manufactures of England, they 
formed a scheme which tended to destroy, or at least 
essentially to impair, the whole manufacturing inter- 
est of Bengal. A policy of that sort could not fail 
of being highly popular, whon the Company submit- 
ted itself as an instrument for the improvement of 
British manufactures, instead of being their most 
dangerous rival, as heretofore they had been always 

They accordingly notified to their Presidency in 
Bengal, in their letter of the 17th of March, 1769, 
that " there was no branch of their trade they more 





h I 


ardently wish to extend than that of raw Mlk." They 
disclaim, however, all desire of employing compul- 
sory measures for that purpose, but recoramondod ev- 
ery mode of encouragement, and particularly by aug- 
mented wages, " in order to induce manufacturers of 
wrought silk to quit that branch and take to the winding 

of raw silk" 

Having thus found means to draw hands from the 
manufacture, and confiding in the strength of a capi- 
tal drawn from the public revenues, they pursue their 
ideas from the purchase of their manufacture to the 
purchase of the material in its crudest state. ' We 
recommend you to give an increased price, if neces- 
sary, so as to take that trade out of the hands of other 
merchants and rival nation ." A doubl- bounty was 
thus given against the manufactures, bota in the la- 
bor and in the materials. 

It is very remarkable in what manner their vehe- 
ment pursuit of this object led the Directors to a 
speedy oblivion of those equitable correctives before 
interposed by them, in order to prevent the mischiefs 
which were apparent in the scheme, if left to itself. 
They could venture so little to trust to the bounties 
given from the revenues a trade which had a ten- 
dency to dry up their source, that, by the time they 
had proceeded to the thirty-third paragraph of their 
letter, they revert to those very compulsory means 
which they had disclaimed but three paragraphs be- 
fore. To prevent silk-winders from working in their 
private houses, where they might work for private 
traders, and to confine them to the Company's facto- 
ries, where they could only be employed for the Com- 
pany's benefit, they desire that the newly acquired 
power of government should be effectually employed. 




^ Should," say they, " this practice, througli inatten- 
tion, have boon suffored to tako place again, it will be 
proper to put a stop to it, whicli may now be niore tf- 
fecturtVif done hy an alsolute pruhilntion, under severe 
penalties, by the authority of i/overiiiitoU.'' 

This lottei contains a perfect plan of policy, both 
of compulsion and encouragement, which must in a 
very considerable degree operate destructively to tho 
manufactures of Bengal. Its effect must be (so far 
as it could operat'j without being eluded) to change 
the whole face of that industrious country, in order 
to render it a field for the produce of crude materials 
subservient to tho manufactures of Great Britain. 
Tho manufacturing hands were to bo seduced from 
their looms by high wages, ui order to p/eparo a raw 
produce for our market; they were to be locked 
up in tho factories ; and the commodity acquired by 
these operations was, in this immature state, carried 
out of the country, whilst its looms would bo left 
without any material but the debased refuse of a 
market enhanced in its price and scanted in its 
supply. By the increase of the j)rico of this and 
other materials, manufactures formerly tlic most 
flourishing gradually disappeared under the protec- 
tion of Great Britain, and were seen to rise again 
and flourish on tho opposite coast of India, under the 
dominion of tho Mahrattas. 

These restraints and .Micourageraents seem to have 
had the desired effect i Bengal with regard to the 
diversion of bbor from manufacture to mtiterials. 
The trade ol .viw silk increased rapidly. But tho 
Company very soon felt, in tho increase of price and 
debasement of quality of the wrought goods, a loss to 
themselves which fully counterbalanced all the advan- 



1 i 




'i i 



tage« to be derived to the nation from the increase of 
tlie raw commodity. Tlie necessary effect on tlie rev- 
enue was a! ,0 foretold very early : for their servants 
in the principal silk-factorios declared that the ob- 
struction to the private trade in silk must in the end 
prove detrimental to the revenues, and that the in- 
vestment clashes with the collection of those rev- 
enues. Whatsoever by bounties or immunities is 
encouraged out of a landed revenue has certainly 
some tendency to lessen the net amount of that rev- 
enue, and to forward a produce which does not yield 
to the gross collection, rather than one that does. 

Tlie Directors declare themselves unable to under- 
stand how this could be. Perhaps it was not so dif- 
ficult. But, pressed as they were by the greatness 
of the payments which they were compelled to make 
to government in England, the cries of Bengal could 
not bo heard among the contending claims of the 
General Court, of the Treasury, and of Spitalflelds. 
The speculation of the Directors was originally faur 
and plausible, — so far as the more encouragement 
of the commodity extended. Situated as they were, 
it was hardly in their power to stop themselves in the 
course they had begun. They were obliged to con- 
tinue their resolution, at any hazard, increasing the 
investment. " The state of our affairs," say they, 
" requires the utmost extension of your investments. 
You are not to forbear sending even those sorts tchich 
ore attended with loss, in case such should be neces- 
sary to supply an investment to as great an amount 
as you can provide from your own resources ; and we 
have not the least doubt of your being thereby ena- 
bled to increase your consij^nmeuts of this vrluable 
branch of national commerce, even to the utmost of 



your wisho*. But it is our positive order tl 

ofeucl) invcstmont bo provided witli boiro\» . money 
wliiclj is to bo repaid \)j dr<rft» vpon our trtt^sury in 
London; since tlio license wiiicli lias already boon 
taken in this respect has involved us in difficulties 
which we yet know not how we shall surmount." 

Tills very instructive paragraph lays open the true 
origin of tho internal decay of Bengal. The trade 
and revenues of that country were (as tho then sys- 
tem must necessarily have Ijeen) of secondary consid- 
cratioi \t best. Present Bu,»plies were to be obtained, 
nnd piosont demands in England were to be avoided, 
at every expense to Bengal. 

f he spirit of increasing the investment from rev- 
enue at any rate, and tho resolution of driving all 
competitors, Europeans or natives, out of the market, 
prevailed at a period still more early, and prevailed 
not only in Bengal, but seems, more or less, to have 
diffused itself through the whole sphere of the Com- 
pany's influence. In 1708 they gave to the Presi- 
dency of Madras the following memorable instruc- 
tion, strongly declaratory of their general system of 

" We shall depend upon your prudence," say they, 
" to discourage foreigners ; and being intent, as you 
have been repeatedly acquainted, on brinring homo 
as great a part of the revenues as possible in your 
manufactures, tho outbidding them in those parts 
where Ihoy interfere with you would certainly prove 
an effectual step for answering that end. We there- 
fore recommend it to you to offer such increase of 
price as you shall deem may be consistently given, — 
that, by beating them out of tne market, the quanti- 
ties by you to be provided may be proportionably 






:.,: •() j 

enlarged ; and if you take this method, it is to be 
so cautiously practised as not to enhance the prices 
in the places immediately under your control. On 
this subject we must not omit the approval of your 
prohibiting the weavers of Cuddalore from makhig up 
any cloth of the samo sortments that are provided 
for us ; and if such prohibition is not now, it should 
by all means be in future, made general, and strictly 

This system must have an immediate tendency 
towards disordering the trade of India, and must 
finally end in great detriment to the Company itself. 
The eflfect of the restrictive system on the weaver is 
evident. The authority given to the servants to buy 
at an advanced price did of necessity furnish means 
and excuses for every sort of fraud in their purchases. 
The instant the servant of a merchant is admitted on 
his own judgment to overbid the market, or to send 
goods to his master which shall sell at loss, there is 
no longer any standard upon which his unfair prac- 
tices can be estimated, or any eflFectual means by 
which they can bo restrained. The hope entertained 
by the Directors, of confining this destructive practice 
of giving an enhanced price to a particular spot, must 
ever be found totally delusive. Speculations will 
be affected by this artificial price in every quarter 
in which markets can have the least communication 
with each other. 

In a very few years the Court of Directors began 
to feel, even in Lcadcnhall Street, the effects of trad- 
ing to loss upon the revenues, especially on those of 
Bengal. In the letter of February, 1774, they ob- 
serve, that, " looking back to their accounts for the 
four preceding years, on several of the descriptions 




of silk there has been an increasing loss, instead of 
any alteration for the better in the last year's produc- 
tions. This," tlioy say, " threatens the destruction 
of that valuable branch of national commerce." And 
then they recommend sueh regulations (as if regula- 
tions in that state of things could be of any service) 
as may obtain " a profit in future, instead of so con- 
siderable a loss, which we can no longer sustain." 

Your Committee thought it necessary to inquire 
into the losses which had actually been suffered by 
this unnatural forced trade, and find the loss so ear- 
ly as the season of 1776 to be 77,650?., that in the 
year 1777 it arose to 168,205^ This was so great that 
worse could hardly be apprehended : however, in the 
season of 1778 it amounted to 255,070?. In 1779 it 
was not so ruinously great, because the whole import 
was not so considerable ; but it still stood enormously 
liigh, — so high as 141,800?. In the whole four years 
it came to 642,725?. The observations of the Direc- 
tors were found to I fully verified. It is remarkable 
that the same article in the China trade produced 
a considerable and uniform profit. On this circum- 
stance little observation is necessary. 

During the time of their struggles for enlarging 
this losing trade, whicli they considered as a national 
object, — what in one point of view it was, and, if it 
had not been grossly mismanaged, might have been 
in more than one, — in this part it is impossible to 
refuse to the Directors a very great share of merit. 
No degree of tliought, of trouble, or of reasonable ex- 
pense was spared by them for the improvement of the 
commodity. Tlicy framed with diligence, and appar- 
ently on very good information, a code of manufactur- 
ing regulations for that purpose ; aiul several per- 




sons were sent out, conversant in t' e Italian method 
of preparing and winding silk, aiuod by proper ma- 
chines for facilitating and perfecting the work. This, 
under proper care, and in course of time, might have 
produced a real improvement to Bengal ; but in the 
first instance it naturally drew the business from na- 
tive management, and it caused a revulsion from the 
trade and manufactures of India which led as natu- 
rally and inevitably to an European monopoly, in 
some hands or other, as any of the modes of coer- 
cion which were or could be employed. The evil was 
present and inherent in the act. The means of let- 
ting the natives into the benefit of the improved sys- 
tem of produce was likely to be counteracted by the 
general ill conduct of the Company's concerns abroad. 
For a while, at least, it had an efibct still worse : for 
the Company purchasing the raw cocoon or silk-pod 
at a fixed rate, the first producer, who, whilst he could 
wind at his own house, employed his family in this 
labor, and could procure a reasonable livelihood l)y 
buying up the cocoons for the Italian filature, now in- 
curred the enormous and ruinous loss of fifty per cent. 
This appears in a letter to the Presidency, written by 
Mr. Boughton Rouse, now a member of your Com- 
mittee. But for a long time a considerable quantity 
of that in the old Bengal mode of winding was bouglit 
for the Company from contractors, and it continues to 
be so bouglit to the present time : but the Directors 
complain, in their letter of the 12th of May, 1780, tliat 
both species, and particularly the latter, had risen so 
extravagantly that it was become ore than forty per 
cent dearer than it had been fifteo.. years ago. In 
that state of price, tlicy condemn their servants, very 
justly, for entering into contracts for three years,— 



and that for several kinds of silk, of very different 
goodness, upon averages unfairly formed, where the 
commodities averaged at an equal price differed from 
twenty to thirty per cent on the sale. Soon after, 
they formed a regular scale of fixed prices, above 
which they found they could not trade without loss. 

Whilst they were continuing these methods to se- 
cure themselves against future losses, the Bengal ships 
which arrived in that year announced nothing but 
their continuance. Some articles by the high price, 
and others from their ill quality, were such " as nev- 
er could answer to be sent to Europe at any price." 
Tho directors renew their prohibition of making fresh 
contracts, the present being generally to expire in 
the year 1781. But this trade, whose fundamental 
policy might have admitted of a doubt, as applied 
to Bengal, (whatever it might have been with regard 
to England,) was now itself expiring in the hands 
of the Company, so that they were obliged to apply 
to government for power to enlarge their capacity of 
receiving bills upon Europe. The purchase by these 
bills they entirely divert from raw silk, and order 
to be laid out wholly in piece-goods. 

Thus, having found by ex[)erionce that this trade, 
whilst carried on upon the old prir.oiples, of what- 
ever advantage it might have been to the British 
manufacturers, or to the individuals who were con- 
cerned in it in Bengal, had proved highly detrimen- 
tal to the Company, the Directors resolved to expunge 
the raw silk from tlicir investment. They gave up 
the whole to private traders, on condition of paying 
the freight, charges, and duties, — permitting them 
to send it to Europe in the Company's ships \ipou 
their own account. 

H. > ' 

VOL. Vlll. 



1 , 

1 f 


The whole of this history will serve to demonstrate 
that all attempts, which in their original system or 
in their necessary ■ .sequences tend to the distress 
of India, must, and in a very short time will, make 
themselves felt even by those in whose favor such at- 
tempts have been made. India may possibly in some 
future time bear and support itself under an extrac- 
tion of measur.e [treasure?] or of goods ; but much 
care ought to be taken that the influx of wealth shall 
be greater in quantity and prior in time to the waste. 
On abandoning the trado in silk to private hands, 
the Directors issued som. prohibitions to prevent 
monopoly, and they gave some directions about the 
improvement of the trade. The prohibitions were 
proper, and the directions prudent; but it is much 
to be feared, that, whilst all the means, instruments, 
and powers remain, by which monopolies were made, 
and through which abuses formerly prevailed, all 
verbal orders will be fruitless. 

This branch of trade, being so long principally man- 
aged by the Company's servants for the Company and 
under its authority, cannot be easily taken out of 
their hands and pass to the natives, especially when it 
is to be carried on without the control naturally in- 
herent in all participation. It is not difficult to con- 
ceive how this forced preference of traffic -•- a raw coin- 
raodity must have injured the manuf s, while it 

was the policy of the Company to coi. . the trade 
on their own account. The servants, bo far from de- 
viating from their course, since they have taken the 
trade into their own management, have gone much 
further into it. The proportion of raw silk in the in- 
vestment is to be augmented. The proportion of the 
whole cargoes for the year 1783, divided into sixteen 



parts, is ten of raw silk, and six only of manufactured 
goods. Such is the proportion of this losing article 
in the scheme for the investment of private fortunes. 
In the reformed scheme of sending the investment 
on account of the Company, to be paid in bills upon 
Europe, no mention is made of any change cf these 
proportions. Indeed, some limits are attempted on 
the article of silk, with regard to its price ; and it is 
not improbable that the price to the master and the 
servant will be very different : but they cannot make 
profitable purchases of this article without strongly 
condemning all the former purchases of the Board of 


The general system above stated, relative to the silk 
trade, must materially have affected the manufactures 
of Bengal, merely as it was a system of preference. 
It does by n^ raeans satisfactorily appear to your 
Committee that the freedom held out by the Com- 
pany's various orders has been ever fully enjoyed, or 
that the grievances of the native merchants and man- 
ufacturers have been redressed ; for we find, on good 
authority, that, at that very period at which it might 
be supposed that these orders had their operation, the 
oppressions were in full vigor. They appear to have 
fallen heaviest on the city of Dacca, formerly the 
great staple for the finest goods in India, — a place 
once full of opulent merchants and dealers of all de- 

The city and diL.,rict of Dacca, before the prev- 
alence of the East India Company's influence and 
authority, manufactured annually to about thrro 




: v^ 




i> s" 



\f: I 


hundred thousand pounds' value in cloths. In the 
year 1776 it had fallen to about two hundred thmi- 
iand, or two thirds of its former produce. Of this 
the Company's demand amounted only to a fourth 
part, that is, about fifty thousand pounds yearly. 
This was at that time provided by agents for the 
Company, under the inspection of their commercial 
servants. On pretence of securing an advantage for 
this fourth part for their masters, they exerted a most 
violent and arbitrary power over the whole. It was 
asserted, that they fixed the Company's mark to such 
goods as they thought fit, (to all goods, as s ated m 
one complaint,) and disposed of them as they though 
proper, excluding not only all the native dealers, but 
L Dutch Company, and private English merchants, 
-that they made advances to the weavers often be- 
yond their known ability to repay in goods witnin the 
year, and by this means, having got tliem m debt 
held them in perpetual servitude. Their inabihty 
to keep accounts left them at the discretion of the 
agents of the supreme power to make their balances 
what they pleased, and they recovered them, not by 
legal process, but by seizure of their goods and ar- 
bitrary imprisonment of their persons. One and the 
same dealer made the advance, valued the return, 
stated the account, passed the judgment, and exe- 
cuted the process. _ 

Mr. Rouse, Chief of the Dacca Province, who strug- 
gled against those evils, says, that in the year 1773 
there were no balances due, as the trade was hen 
carried on by the native brokers. In less than three 
years these balances amounted to an immense sum 
_a sum lost to the Company, but existing m fill 
force for every purpose of oppression. In the amount 



of these balances almost every weaver In the coantry 
bore a part, and consequently they were almost all 
caught in this snare. " They are in general," says 
Mr. Rouse, in a letter to General Clavering, deliv- 
ered to your Committee, " a timid, helpless people ; 
many of them poor to the utmost degree cf wretched- 
ness ; hicapable of keeping; accounts ; industrious as 
it were by instinct ; unable to defend themselves, if 
oppressed ; and satisfied, if with continual labor they 
derive from the fair dealing and humanity of their em- 
ployer a moderate subsisisuce for their families." 

Such were the people who stood accused by tl>.- 
Comj iiy's agents as pretending grievances, in oruer 
to be excused the payment of their balances. As to 
the commercial state of the province in general, Mr. 
Rouse represents it " to be for these two years a 
perpetual scene of complaint and disputation ; — the 
Company's agents professing to pay higher rates to 
weavers, whilst the Leadenhall sales showed an heavy 
loss to the Company ; the weavers liave even travel- 
led in multitudes to prefer their complaints at the 
Presidency ; the amoimt of the investment compar- 
atively small, with balances comparatively large, and, 
as I ur.derstand, generally contested by the weavers ; 
the native merchants, called delals, removed from 
their uifluence, as prejudicial to the Company's con- 
cerns ; and European merchants complaining against 
undue influence of the Company's commercial agents, 
in preventing the free purchase even of those goods 
which the Company never tf.kes." 

The spirit of those agents will be fully compre- 
hended from a state of the proceedings before Mr. 
Rouse and Council, on the complaint of a Mr. Cree, 
an English free merchant at Dacca, who had bee" 

I' I 



•.li i 



S . P 

i>.» -,-t 

,* ■'< 

twice treated in the same injurious manner by the 
agents of Mr. Hurst, the Commercial Cliief at that 
place. On his complaint to the board of tlie seizure 
of the goods, and imprisonment of his agents, Mr. 
Hurst was called upon for an explanation. In re- 
turn he informed them that he had sent to one of the 
villages to inquire concerning the mattp of fact al- 
leged. The impartial person sent to make this in- 
quiry was the very man accused of the oppressions 
into which he was sent to examine. Tlio answer of 
Mr. Hurst is in an high and determined tone. Ho 
does not deny that there are some instances of abuse 
of power. " But I ask," say he, " what authority 
can guard against the conduct of individuals? but 
that a tingle instance cannot bo brought of a general 
depravity." Your Committee have reason to believe 
these coercive measures to have been very general, 
though employed according to the degree of resist- 
ance opposed to the monopoly; for we find at one 
time the whole trade of the Dutch involved in the 
general servitude. But it appears very extraordinary 
that nothing but the actual proof of a general abuse 
could affect a practice the very principle of which 
tends to make the coercion as general as the trade. 
Mr. Hurst's reflection concerning the abuse of authjr- 
ity is just, but in this case it is altogether inapplica- 
ble ; because the complaint was not of the abuse, but 
of the use of authority in matters of trade, which 
ought to have been free. He throws out a variety of 
invidious reflections against tlie Council, as if they 
wanted zeal for the Company's service ; his justifica- 
tion of his practices, and his declaration of his res- 
olution to persevere in them, are firm and deter- 
mined, — asserting the right and policy of such re- 




straints, and laying down a rule for his conduct at 
the factory, which, ho says, will give no cause of just 
complaint to private traders. He adds, " I have no 
doubt but that thoy have hitherto provided invest- 
ments, and it cannot turn to my interest to preclude 
them now, though I must ever think it my duty to 
combat the private views of individuals who set them- 
telvea up at competitors under that very body under 
whose license and indulgence only they can derive 
their privilege of trade : all I contend for is the same 
influence my employers have ever had." He ends by 
declining any reply to any of their future references 
of this nature. 

The whole of this extraordinary letter is inserted in 
the Appendix, No. 51, — and Mr. Rouse's minute of 
observations upon it in Appendix, No. 52, fully refut- 
ing the few pretexts alleged in that extraordinary per- 
formance in support of the trade by influence and 
authority. Mr. HoUond, one of the Council, joined 
Mr. Rouse in opinion that a letter to the purport of 
that minute should be written ; but they were over- 
ruled by Messrs. Purling, Hogarth, and Shakespeare, 
who passed a resolution to defer sending any reply to 
Mr. Hurst : and none was ever sent. Thus they gave 
countenance to the doctrine contained in that letter, 
as well as to the mischievous practices which must in- 
evitably arise from the exercise of such power. Some 
temporary and partial relief was given by the vigor- 
ous exertions of Mr. Rouse; but he shortly after 
removing from that government, all complaints were 

It is remarkable, that, during the long and warm 
contest between the Company's agents and the dealers 
of P^'^ca, the Board of Trade seem to have taken a de- 

. H 


;' fi 

( I 


■ -r' 

! I ' 



cided part against the latter. Tlioy allow some sort 
of justice in the complaints of the manufactureri, with 
regard to low valuation, and other particulars ; but 
they say, that, " aUhoagh" (during the time of pre- 
emption) "it appears that the weavers were not al- 
lowed the tame liberty of selling to individuals thfy he- 
fore enjoyed^ our opinion on the whole is, that these 
complaints have originated \ipon the premeditated de- 
signs of the delal? [factors or brokers] to thwart the 
new mode of carrying on the Company's business, and 
to render themselves necessary." They say, i.. another 
place, that there is no ground for the dissatisfactions 
and difficulties of the weavers : " that they are owing 
to the delals, whose aim it is to he employed" 

This desire of being employed, and of rendering 
themselves necessary, in men whose only business it 
is to be employed in trade, is considered by the gen- 
tlemen of the board as no trivial offence; and ac- 
cordingly they declare, " they have er-tablished it as 
an invariable rule,i\\aX, whatever deficieny there might 
be in the Dacca investment, no purchase of the man- 
ufactures of that quarter shall be made for account 
of the Com'^any from private merchants. We have 
passed this resolution, which we deem of importance, 
from a persuasion that private merchants are often 
induced to make advances for Dacca goods, not by 
the ordinary chance of sale, but merely from an 
expectation of disposing of them at an ' • hanced 
price to the Company, against whom a rivunhip is by 
this manner encouraged "; and they say, " that they 
intend to observe the same rule with respect to the 
investment of other of the factories from whence sim- 
ilar complaints may come." 

This positive rule is opposed to the positive direo- 

L> ' i 



tioiis of tho Company to employ those obnoxious per- 
sons by proforonco. How far this violent use of au- 
thority for tho purposo of destroying rivalship has 
succeeded in reducing the price of goods to tho Com- 
pany has been made manifest by tho facts before 
stated in their place. 

Tlie recriminatory charges of the Company's agents 
on tho native merchants have made very little im- 
pression on your Committee. We have nothing in 
favor of them but the assertion of a party powerful 
and interested. In such cases of mutual assertion 
and denial, your Committee are led irresistibly to 
attach abuse to power, and to presume that suffering 
and hardship are more likely to attend on weakness 
than that any combination of unprotected individuals 
is of force to prevail over influence, power, wealth, 
and authority. Tho complaints of the native mer- 
chants ought not to have been treated in any of those 
modes in which they were then treated. And when 
men are in the situation of complainants against un- 
bounded power, their abandoning their suit is far 
from a full and clear proof of their complaints being 
groundless. It is not because redress has been ren- 
dered impracticable that oppression does not exist; 
nor is the despair of suftorors any alleviation of 
their afflictions. A review of come of the most re- 
markable of the complaints made by the native mer- 
chants in that provuice is so essential for laying open 
the true spirit of the commercial administration, and 
the real condition of those concerned in trade there, 
that your Committee observing the records on this 
subject and at this period full of them, they could 
not think themselves justifiable in not stathig thciu 
to the House. 




I I 

: , I 

[I I" 



Your Coininlttoo have fi)und many heavy chargeu 
of oppression against Mr. Barwcll, whilst Factory 
Chief at Dacca ; wliich oppressions arc stated to have 
continued, and oven to have been aggravated, on 
complaint at Calcutta. These complaints appear in 
several memorials presented to the Supreme Council 
of Calcutta, of which Mr. Barwell was a member. 
They appeared yet more fully and more strongly 
in " '>ill in Chancery filed in the Supremo Court, 
whicn was afterwards recorded before tho Oovernor- 
General and Council, and transmitted to the Court 
of Directors. 

Your Committee, struck with the magnitude and 
importance of these charges, and fitiding that with 
regard to those before the Council no regular in- 
vestigation has ever taken place, and finding also 
that Mr. Barwell had asserted in a Minute of Coun- 
cil that Ive had given a full answer to the allegations 
in that bill, ordered a copy of the answer lu be laid 
before your Committee, that they might be enabled 
to state to the Ilouse how far it appeared to them 
to be full, how far the charges were denied as to 
the fact, or, where the facts might bo admitted, what 
justification was set up. It appeared necessary, in 
order to determine on the true situation of the trade 
and the merchants of that great city and district. 

The Secretary to the Court of Directors has in- 
formed your Committee that no copy of the answer 
is to be found in the India House; nor has your 
Committee been able to discover that any has been 
transmitted. On this failure, your Committee or- 
dered an application to bo made to Mr. Barwell for 
a copy of his answer to the bill, and any other ui- 
formation with which ho might be furnished with 
regard to that subject. 




Mr. BarwoU, after reciting the above letter, ro* 
turned iti answer what fuUuws. 

" Whether the records of the Supreme Court of 
Judicature are lodged at the India House 1 am it);- 
norant, but on those records iny answer is certainly 
to be found. At this distance of time I am sor-y 
I cannot from memory recover the circumstances 
of this affair ; but this I know, that the bill did re- 
ceive a complete answer, and the people the fullest 
satisfaction: nor is it necessary for me to remark, 
that [ in? ] tlio state of parties at that time in Bongal, 
could party have brought forward any particle of that 
bill supported by any verified fact, the principle tliat 
introduced it in the proceedings of the Governor- 
General and Council would likewise have given the 
verification of that one circumstance, whatever that 
might have been. As I generally attend in my 
place in the House, I shall wi-h pleasure answer 
any invitation of the gentlemen of the Committee to 
attend their investigations up stairs with every in- 
foriiiation and light in my power to give them. 

« St. Jamcs'i Square, 15th April, 1783." 

Your Committee considered, that, with regard to 
the matter charged in the several petitions to the 
board, no sort of specific answer had been given at 
the time and place where they were made, and when 
and where the parties might be examined and con- 
fronted. It was considered also, tliat the bill bad 
been transmitted, wit'. >ther papers relating to the 
same matter, to the Court of Directors, with the 
knowledge and consent of Mr. Barwell, — ^and that 
he states that his answer had been filed, and no pro- 
ceedings had upon it for eighteen mouths. In that 










V . 



situation it was thought something extraordinary 
that uo care was taken by him to transmit so essen- 
tial a paper as his answer, and that he had no copy 
of it in his hands. 

Your Committee, in this difficulty, thought them- 
selves obliged to decline any verbal explanation from 
the person who is defendant in the suit, relative to 
matters which on the part of tlie complainant appear 
upon record, and to leave the whole matter, as it is 
charged, to the judgment of the House to determine 
how far it may be worthy of a further inquiry, or how 
far they may admit such allegations as your Commit- 
tee could not think themselves justified in receiving. 
To this effect your Committee ordered a letter to be 
written Mr. Barwell; from whom they received the 
following answer. 

" Sir, — Li consequence of your letter of the 17th, 
I must request the favor of you to inform the Select 
Committee that I expect from their justice, on any 
matter of public record in which I am personally to 
be brought forward to the notice of the House, that 
they will at the same time point out to the House 
what part of such matter has been verified, and what 
parts have not nor ever were attempted to be veri- 
fied, tliough introduced in debate and entered on the 
records of the Governor-General and Council of Ben- 
gal. I am anxious the information should be com- 
plete, or the House will not be competent to judge ; 
and if it is complete, it will preclude all explanation 
as unnecessary. 

" I am. Sir, 
" Your most obedient humble servant, 

" Richard Barwell. 

<< St. James's Square, 22nd April, 1783. 





" P. S. As I am tins moment returned from the 
country, I had it not in my power to be earlier in 
acknowledging your letter of the 17th." 

Your Committee applied to Mr. Barwell to com- 
municate any papers which might tend to the elu- 
cidation of matters before them in which he was 
concerned. This he has declined to do. Your Com- 
mittee conceive that under the orders of the House 
they are by no means obliged to make a complete 
state of all the evidence which may tend to criminate 
or exculpate every person whose transactions they 
may find it expedient to report : this, if not specially 
ordered, has not hitherto been, as they apprehend, 
the usage of any committee of this House. It is not 
for your Committee, but for the discretion of the 
party, to call for, and for the wisdom of the House to 
institute, such proceedings as may tend finally to con- 
demn or acquit. The Reports of your Committee 
are no charges, though they may possibly furnish 
matter for charge ; and no representations or obser- 
vations of theirs can either clear or convict on any 
proceeding which may hereafter be grounded on the 
facts which they produce to the House. Their opin- 
ions are not of a judicial nature. Your Committee 
has taken abundant care that every important fact in 
their Report should be attended with the authority 
for it, either in the course of their reflections or in 
the Appendix : to report everything upon every sub- 
ject before them which is to be found on the rec- 
ords of the Company would be to transcribe, and in 
the event to print, almost the whole of those volumi- 
nous papers. The matter which appears before them 
is in a summary manner this. 






1 1 ■ 










; 1 



•r t 

The Dacca merchants begin by complaining that 
in November, 1773, Mr. Ricliard Barwell, then Chief 
of Dacca, had deprived them of their employment 
and means of subsistence ; that he had extorted from 
them 44,224 Arcot rupees (4,731?.) by the terror of 
his threats, by long imprisonment, and cruel confine- 
ment in the stocks ; that afterwards they were con- 
fined in a small room near tlio factory-gate, under 
a guard of sepoys ; that their food was stopped, and 
they remained starving a whole day ; that they w 
not permitted to take their food till next day 
noon, and were again brought back to the same con 
finement, in which they were continued for six days, 
and were not set at liberty until they had given 
Mr. Barwell's banian a certificate for forty thousand 
rupees; that in July, 1774, when Mr. Harwell had 
loft Dacca, they went to Calcutta to seek justice ; 
that Mr. Barwell confined them in his house at Cal- 
cutta, and sent them back under a guard of peons to 
Dacca ; that iji December, 1774, on the arrival of the 
gentlemen from Europe, they returned to Calcutta, 
and preferred their complaint to the Supreme Court 
of Judicature. 

The bill in Chancery filed against Richard Bar- 
well, John Shakespeare, and others, contains a mi- 
nute specification of the various acts of personal cru- 
elty said to be practised by Mr. Barwell's orders, to 
extort money from these people. Among other acts 
of a similar nature he is cliarged with having ordered 
the appraiser of the Company's cloths, who was an 
old man, and who asserts that he had faithfully 
served the Company above sixteen years without 
the least censure on his conduct, to be severely 
flogged without rf^ason. 

'■ r 



In the manner of confining the delals, with ten of 
their servants, it is charged on him, that, " when he 
first ordered them to be put into the stocks, it was 
at a time when the weather was exceedingly bad 
and the rain very heavy, without allowing them the 
least covering for their heads or any part of their 
body, or anything to raise them from the wet ground ; 
in which condition they were continued for many 
hours, until the said Richard Barwell thought proper 
to remove them into a far worse state, if possible, 
as if studying to exercise the most cru J acts of bar- 
barity on them, &c. ; and that during their impris- 
onment they were frequently carried to and tortured 
in the stocks in the middle of the day, when the 
scorching heat of the sun was insupportable, notwith- 
standing which they were denied the least covering." 
These men assert that they had served the Compa- 
ny without blame for thirty years, — a period com- 
mencing long before the power of the Company in 

It was no slight aggravation of this severity, that 
the objects were not young, nor of the lowest of 
the people, who might, by the vigor of their consti- 
tutions, or by the habits of hardship, be enabled to 
bear up against treatment so full of rigor. They 
were aged persons; they were men of a reputable 

The account given by these merchants of their first 
journey to Calcutta, in July, 1774, is circumstantial 
and remarkable. They say, " that, on their arrival, 
to their astonishment, they soon learned that the Gov- 
ernor, who had formerly been violently enraged against 
the said Richard Barwell for different improprieties in 
his conduct, was now reconciled to him; and that ever 




•( , 



i 1 ! 




'.y ... 

since there was a certainty of his Majesty^s appoint- 
ments taking place in India, from being the most invet- 
erate enemies they were now become the most intimate 
friends ; and that this account soon taught them to be- 
lieve they were not any nearer Justice from their Jour- 
ney to Calcutta than they had been before at Dacca." 

When this bill of complaint was, in 1776, laid be- 
fore the Council, to be transmitted to the Court of 
Directors, Mr. Barwell complained of the introduc- 
tion of such a paper, and asserted, that he had an- 
swered to every particular of it on oath about eighteen 
months, and that during this long period no attempt 
had been made to controvert, refute, or even to reply 
to it. 

He did not, however, t'.ink it proper to enter his 
answer on the "ccords along with the bill of whose 
introduction he complained. 

On the declarations made by Mr. Barwell in his 
minute (September, 1776) your Committee observe, 
that, considering him only as an individual under 
prosecution in a court of justice, it might be suffi- 
cient for him to exhibit his defence in the court 
where he was accused ; but that, as a member of 
government, specifically charged before that very 
government with abusing the powers of his office 
in a very extraordinai/ manner, and for purposes 
(as they allege) highly corrupt and criminal, it ap- 
pears to your committee hardly sufficient to say that 
he had answered elsewhere. The matter was to go 
before the Court of Directors, to whom the question 
of his conduct in that situation, a situation of the 
highest power and trust, was as much at least a ques- 
tion of state as a matter of redress to be solely left 
to the discretion, capacity, or perseverance of indi- 




viduals. Mr. Barwoll miglit possibly 1)0 generous 
enough to take no advantage of his eminent situa- 
tion ; but these unfortunate people would rather look 
f<> his power than his disposition. In general, a man 
^o circumstanced and so charged (though wo do not 
know this to be the case witli Mr. BarwcU) might 
easily contrive by legal advantages to escaj>e. The 
plaintiffs being at a great distance from the scat of 
government, and possibly affected by fear or fatigue, 
or seeing the impossibility of sustaining with the 
ruins of fortunes never perhaps very opul it a suit 
against wealth, power, and influence, a compromise 
might even take place, in which circumstances might 
make the complainants gladly acquiesce. But the 
public injury is not in the leapt repaired by the ac- 
quiescence of individuals, as it touched the honor of 
the vory highest parts of government. In the opin- 
ion of your Committee some means ought to have 
been taken to bring the bill to a discussion on the 
merits ; or supposing that such decree could not be 
obtained by reason of any failure of proceeding on 
the part of the plaintiffs, that some process official or 
juridical ought to have been instituted against them 
which might prove them guilty of slander and deci- 
mation in as authentic a manner as they had made 
their charge, before the Council as well as the Court. 
By the determination of Mr. Hurst, and the reso- 
lutions of the Board of Ti-ade, it is much to be ap- 
prehended that the native mercantile interest must 
be exceedingly reduced. The above-mentioned reso- 
lutions of the Board of Trade, if executed in their 
rigor, must almost inevitably accomplish its ruin. 
The subsequent transactions arc covered with an 
obscurity which your Committee have not been able 









to dis[)cl. All wbicli they can collect, but that by 
no moans distinctly, is, that, as tliose wlio trade for 
the Company in the articles of investment may also 
trade for themselves in the same articles, the old op- 
portunities of confounding the capacities must re- 
main, and all the oppressions l)y which this confusion 
has been attended. Tlic Company's investments, as 
the GL-neral Letter from Bengal of the 20th of Novem- 
ber, 1775, pur. 28, states the matter, " are never at a 
stand ; advances are made and goods are received all 
the year round." Balances, the grand instrunioiit of 
oppression, naturally accumulate on poor manufactur- 
ers who are intrusted with money. Whore there is 
not a vigorous rivalsliip, not oidy toleraiod, but en- 
couraged, it is impossible ever to redeem the manu- 
facturers from the sci'vitude induced by those unpaid 

No such rivalsliip does exist : the policy practised 
and avowed is directly against it. The reason as- 
signed in the Board of Trade's letter of the 28th of 
November, 1778, for its making their advances early 
in the season is, to prevent the foreign mercliants 
and private traders interfering with the jnirchase of 
their (the Company's) assortments. " They also re- 
fer to the means taken to prevent this interference in 
their letter of 2Gth January, 1779." It is impossi- 
ble that the small part of the trade should not fall 
into the hands of those who, with the iinnie and au- 
thority of the governing persons, have such extensive 
contracts in their hands. It appears in evidence that 
natives can hardly trade to the best advantage, (your 
Committee doubt whether they can trade to any ad- 
vantage at all,) if not joined with or countenanced 
by British subjects. The Directors were iu 1775 so 




strongly imprcs«ocl with this notion, au'l conceived 
tlic native merchants to have hoen even tlicn reduced 
to so low a state, that, notwithstanding tlic Com- 
pany's earnest desire of giving them a preference, 
they " doubt whether there are at tiiis time in Ben- 
gal native merchants jrosscsscd of pro])orty adequate 
to such imdcrtaking, or of credit and responsil)ility 
sufficient to make it safe and prudent to trust them 
with sucli sums as might be necessary to enable them 
to fulfil their engn >ments with the Company." 

The effect whic so long continued a monopoly, 
followed by a preemption, and then by partial prefer- 
ences supported l)y ])Ovver, must necessarily have in 
weakening the mercantile capital, and disabling the 
merchants from all undertakings of magnitude, is but 
too visible. However, a witness of understanding 
and credit dms not believe the capitals of the natives 
to bo yet so reduced as to disable them from partak- 
ing in tlic trade, if they were otherwise able to put 
themselves on an equal footing with Europeans. 

The difficulties at the outset will, however, be con- 
siderable. For the long continuance of abuse has in 
some measure conformed the whole trade of the coun- 
try to its false principle. To make a sudden change, 
tlicrcfore, might destroy the few advantages which at- 
tend any trade, without securing those which must 
flow from one established iipon sound mercantile 
principles, whenever sucli a trade can be established. 
The fact is, that the forcible direction wliich the trade 
of India has had towards Europe, to the neglect, or 
ratlior to the total al)andoning. of the Asiatic, has of 
itself tended to carry even the internal business from 
the native merchant. The revival of trade in the na- 
tive hands is of alisolute necessity ; but your Com- 


>' y 

i t< 





b ' 

mittee is of opinion that it will rather be the effect 
of a regular progressive course of endeavors for that 
purpose than of any one regulation, however wisely 

After this examination into the condition of the 
trade and traders in the principal articles provided 
for the investment to Europe, your Committee pro- 
ceeded to take into consideration those articles tho 
produce of which, after sale in Bengal, is to form a 
part of tlie fund for the purchase of other articles of 
investment, or to make a part of it in kind. These 
are, 1st, Opium, — 2udl), Saltpetre, — and, 3rdly, 
Salt. These are all monopolized. 






The first of the internal authorized monopolies is 
tliat o*" opium. This drug, extracted from a species 
of the poppy, is of extensive consumption in most of 
the Eastern markets. The best is produced in the 
province of Bahar : in Bengal it is of an inferior sort, 
though of late it has been improved. This monopoly 
is to be traced to the very origin of our influence in 
Bengal. It is stated to have begun at Patna so early 
as the year 1761, but it received no considerable de- 
gree of strength or consistence until the year 1765, 
wlien the acquisition of the Duanud opened a wide 
field for all projects of this nature. It was then 
adopted and owned as a resource for persons in 
office, — was managed chiefly by the civil servants of 
the Patna factory, and for their own benefit. The 
policy was justified on the usual principles on which 
monopolies are supported, and on some peculiar to 
the commodity, to the nature of the trade, and to the 




state of tlio country : the security against adultera- 
tion ; the prevention of tlie excessive liomo consump- 
tion of a pernicious drug : the stopping an excessive 
competition, which by an over-proportioned supply 
would at lengtli destroy the market abroad ; the ina- 
bility of the cultivator to proceed in an expensive 
and precarious culture without a large advance of 
capital ; and, lastly, the incapacity of private mer- 
chants to supply tliat capital on the feeble security of 
wretclicd farmers. 

These were the principal topics on which the mo- 
nopoly was supported. The last topic leads to a 
serious consideration on the state of the country ; 
for, in pushing it, the gentlemen argued, that, in case 
such private merchants should advance the necessa- 
ry capital, the lower cultivators " would get money in 
abundance." Admitting this fact, it seems to be a 
part of the policy of this monopoly to prevent the 
cultivator from o' aining the natural fruits of his 
labor. Dealing with a private merchant, he could 
not get money in abundance, unless his commodity 
could produce an abundant profit. Further reasons, 
relative to the peace and good order of the province, 
were assigned for thus preventing the course of trade 
from the equitable distribution of the advantages of 
the proc'iicc, in which the first, the poorest, and the 
most laborious producer ought to have his first share. 
Tlie cultivators, they add, would squander part of 
the money, a id not bo able to complete their engage- 
ments to the full ; lawsuits, and even battles, would 
ensue between tlie factors, contending for a deficient 
produce ; and the farmers would discourage the cul- 
ture of an object which brought so much disturbance 
into their districts. This competition, the operation 

. M 

' 1 






' > 

/ i 

if '! 



of which they endeavor to prevent, is tlio natural cor- 
rective of tlie abuse, and the heft remedy wliich could 
be a])i)lied to tlio disorder, eveu supposing its proba- 
ble existence. 

Upon whatever reasons or protoncos the inonojroly 
of opium was sujiported, tiie real motive appears to 
be the profit of those who were in hopes to be con- 
cerned in it. As tiiese profits promised to bo very 
considerable, at lenjxth it engaged the attention of 
the Comjiany ; and after many discussions, and vari- 
ous plans of application, it was at length taken for 
their benefit, and tlie jn-oduco of the sale ordered to 
ho employed ii' tlio purchase of goods for tiieir iu- 

In tlie year 1770 it had been taken out of tlio 
hands of the Council of Patna, and leased to two of 
the natives, — but for a year only. The contractors 
were to supply a certain ipiantity of opium at a given 
price. Half the value was to be paid to those con- 
tractors in advance, and the other half on the de- 

Tlie proceedings on this contract demonstrated the 
futility of all the principles on which the monopoly 
was founded. The Council, as a part of their plan, 
were obliged, by heavy duties, and by a limitation 
of the right of emption of foreign opium to the con- 
tractors for the home produce, to clieck the influx 
of that commodity from the territories of the Nabob 
of Oude and the Rajah of Benares. Iu these coun- 
tries no monopoly existed; and yet there the com- 
modity was of sucli a quality and so abundant as 
to bear the duty, and eveu with the duty in some 
degree to rival the monopolist even in his own mar- 
kct. There was no complaint iu those countries of 




want of a-lvuiices to cultivators, or of lawsuits and 
tuuuilts am.)iig the factors ; nor was there any ajK 
peaiancc of the multitude of other evils which had 
been so nuch dreaded from the vivacity of compo- 


On the other hand, several of the precautions in- 
serted in this contract, and repeated in all the sub- 
seciuent, strongly indicated the evils iit^ainst which 
it is extnnnoly difficult, if not impossible, to guard 
u monopoly of this nature and in that country. For 
ill the iirst contract entered into with the two na- 
tives it was striitly forl)idden to compel the tenants 
to tlie cultivation of this drug. Indeed, very shock- 
ing rumors had gone abroad, and they were aggra- 
vated by an opinion universally jtrevalent, that, even 
in the season immediately folli>wing that dreadful 
famine which swep^ off one third of the inhabitants 
of Bengal, several of the poorer farun rs were com- 
pelled to plough up the fields they had sown with 
grain in order to plant them with popj)ies for tho 
benefit of the engrossers of opium. This opinion 
grew into a strong presumi)tion, when it was seen 
that in the next year the produce of opium (con- 
trary to wliat might be naturally expected in a year 
following such a dearth) was nearly doubled. It 
is true, that, when the quantity of land necessiiry for 
tlie production of the largest cpiantity of oi)ium is 
considered, it is not just to attribute that famine to 
these practices, nor to any that were or could be 
used; yot, where such practices did jtrevail, they 
must have been very oppressive to individuals, ex- 
tremely insulting to the feelings of tho people, and 
must tend to bring great and deserved discredit on 
the British government. The English are a people 






»^ i' .: 

wlio appear in India as a coiKiuering nation; all 
douling with thorn is thercfuro, more or less, a doa! 
ing with power. It is such when they trade on u 
private account; and it is iuuch more so in aiiy 
authorized n. iuopoly, where the hand of govern- 
ment, which ouglit never to appear but to protect, 
is felt as tlio instrument in every act of opprciMon. 
Abuses mu>.t exist in a trade and a revenue so con- 
stituted, and there is no eflectual cure for them but 
to entirely cut oflF their cause. 

Things continued in this train, until the great 
nvolution in the Company's government was wrought 
by tlie^Regulathig Act of the tliirtcenth of tiie king. 
Ill 1775 the new C(nineil-General appointed by the 
act took this troublesome l)usiness again into con- 
sideration. General Clavering, Colonel Monson. and 
Mr. Francis expressed such strong doubts of the 
propriety of this and of all other monopolies, tliat 
the Directors, in their letter of the year following, 
left the Council at liberty to throw the trade open,' 
iinder u duty, if they should find it practicable.' 
But General Clavering, who most severely censured 
monopoly in general, tiiought tliat this monopoly 
ought to I)c retained, — but for a reason which shows 
his opinion of the wretched state of the country : for 
he supposed it impossible, with tlio power and in- 
lluonce which must attend British subjects in all 
their transactions, that monopoly could be avoided ; 
and he prclerred an avowed monopoly, which brought 
benefit to government, to a virtual engrossing, "at- 
tended with profit only to individuals. But in this 
opinion he did not seem to be joined by Mi-. Francis, 
who thought the suppression of this and of all mo- 
nopolies to be practicable, and strongly recommended 

, ti 



their abuUtlou in a plan sent to the Court of Di- 
rectors the year following.* 

The Council, however, submitting to the opinion 
of this necessity, endeavon-J to render that dul)iou8 
engagement as benuficial as ])ossiblu to the Compa- 
ny. They began by putting up the contract to the 
highest bidder. The pro[iosals were to be sealed. 
When the seals camo to bo opened, a very extraor- 
dinary scene appeared. Every stop in this business 
develops more and more the elloct of this junction 
of public monopoly and private inflnouce. Four 
English and eight natives were candidates for tho 
contract ; three of tho English far overbid tho eight 
natives. They who consider that tho natives, from 
their 8U{K;rior dexterity, from their knowledge of 
the country and of business, and from their extreme 
industry, vigilance, and parsimony, are generally an 
over-match for Europeans, and indeed are, and must 
ultimately be, employed by them ui all transactions 
whatsoever, will find it very extraordinary that they 
did not by the best offers secure this dealing to them- 
selves. It can be attributed to this cause, and this 
only, — that they were conscious, that, without power 
and influence to subdue the cultivators of the land 
to their own purposes, they never could afford to 
engage on the lowest- possible terms. Those whoso 
power entered into the calculation of their profits 
could offer, as they did offer, terms without com- 
parison better ; and therefore one of tho English bid- 
ders, without partiality, secured tho preference. 

The contract to this first bidder, Mr. Griffiths, was 
prolonged from year to year ; and as during that 

• Vide ?tv. Francis's plan in Appendix, No. 14, to the Select 
Committee's Si.xth Report. 





- 1 

time frequent complaints were made by him to the 
Council Board, on the principle that the years an- 
swered very di£Ferently, and that the business of one 
year ran into the other, reasons or excuses were fur- 
nished for giving tlie next contract to Mr. Mackenzie 
for three years. This third contract was not put up 
to auction, as the second had been, and as this ought 
to have been. The terms were, indeed, something 
better for the Company; and the engagement was 
subject to qualifications, which, though they did not 
remove the objection to the breach of the Company's 
orders, prevented the hands of the Directors from be- 
ing tied up. A proviso was inserted in tlie contract, 
that it should not be anyways binding, if the Com- 
pany by orders from home sliould alter the existing 
practice with regard to such dealing. 

Whilst these things were going on, the evils which 
this monopoly was in show and pretence formed to 
j)revent still existed, and those which were naturally 
to be expected from a monopoly existed too. Com- 
plaints were made of the bad quality of the opium ; 
trials were made, and on those trials the opium was 
found faulty. An office of inspection at Calcutta, to 
ascertain its goodness, was established, and directions 
given to the Provincial Councils at the places of 
growth to certify the quantity and quality of the com- 
modity transmitted to the Presidency. 

In 177G, notwithstanding an engagement in the 
contract strictly prohibiting all compulsory culture of 
the poppy, information was given to a member of the 
Council-General, tliat fields green with rice had been 
forcibly ploughed up to make way for that plant, — 
and that this was done in the presence of several Eng- 
lish gentlemen, who belield the spectacle with a just 



and natural indignation. The board, struck with 
this representation, ordered tho Council of Patna to 
make an inquiry into the fact ; but your Committee 
can find no return whatsoever to this order. Tiie 
complaints were not solely on the part of the cultiva- 
tors against the contractor. The contractor for opi- 
um made loud complaints against the inferior collec- 
tors of the landed revenue, stating their undue and 
vexatious exactions from the cultivators of opium, — 
their throwing these unfortunate people hito prison 
upon frivolous pretences, by which the tenants were 
ruined, and the contractor's advances lost. He stat- 
ed, that, if the contractor should interfere in favor 
of the cultivator, then a deficiency would be caused 
to appear in the landed revenues, and that defi- 
ciency would be charged on his interposition; he 
desired, therefore, that the cultivators of opium 
should be taken out of the general system of the 
landed revenue, and put under "Ins protection." 
Here the effect naturally to be expected from the 
clashing of inconsistent revenues appeared in its full 
light, as well as the state of the mifortunate peasants 
of Bengal between such rival protectors, where the 
ploughman, flying from the tax-gatherer, is obliged 
to take refuge under the wings of the monopolist. 
No dispute arises amongst the English subjects which 
does not divulge the misery of the natives ; when the 
former are in harmony, all is well with tho latter. 

This monopoly continuing and gathering strength 
through a succession of contractors, and being prob- 
ably a most lucrative dealing, it grew to be every 
day a greater object of competition. Tiie Council of 
Patna endeavored to recover the contract, or at least 
the agency, by the most inviting terms ; and in tliis 








. 'J. 


I 4 





eager state of mutual complaint and competition 
between private men and public bodies things con- 
tinued until the arrival in Bengal of Mr. Stephen 
Sulivan, son of Mr. Sulivan, Chairman of the East 
India Company, which soon put an end to all strife 
and emulation. 

To form a clear judgment on the decisive step 
taken at this period, it is proper to keep in view the 
opinion of the Court of Directors concerning monop- 
olies, against wliich they had imiformly declared in 
the most precise terms. Tiiey never submitted to 
them, but as to a present necessity ; it was therefore 
not necessary for them to express any particular ap- 
probation of a clause in Mr. Mackenzie's contract 
which was made in favor of their own liberty. 
Every motive led them to 
security of that clause th( 
fered to pass over in silei .: 
proved) the grant of the cc la.. which contained 
it for three years. It must also be remembered that 
they had from the beginning positively directed that 
the contract should be put up to public auction; 
and this not having been done in Mr. Mackenzie's 
case, they severely reprimanded the Governor-Gen- 
eral and Counci. in their letter of the 23rd Decem- 
ber, 1778. 

The Court of Directors were perfectly right in 
showing themselves tenacious of tliis regulation,— 
not so much to secure tiie best practicable revenue 
from their monopoly whilst it existed, but for a much 
more essential reason, that is, from the corrective 
which this method administered to that monopoly 
itself: it prevented the British contractor from be- 
coming doubly terrible to the natives, when they 

"ve it. On the 

alone have suf- 

r they never ap- 



should see that his contract was in effect a grant, and 
therefore indicated particular favor and private influ- 
ence with the ruling members of an absolute govern- 


On the expiration of Mr. Mackenzie's term, and 
but a few months after Mr. Sulivan's arrival, the 
Governor-General, as if the contract was a matter 
of patronage, and not of dealing, pitched upon Mr. 
Sulivan as the most proper person for the manage- 
ment of this critical concern. Mr. Sulivan, though a 
perfect stranger to Bengal, and to that sort and to all 
sorts of local commerce, made no difficulty of accept- 
ing it. The Governor-General was so fearful that his 
true motives in this business should be mistaken, or 
that the smallest suspicion should arise of his attend- 
ing to the Company's orders, that, far from putting 
up tlie contract (which, on account of its known 
profits, had become the object of such pursuit) to 
public auction, he did not wait for receiving so much 
as a private proposal from Mr. Sulivan. The Secre- 
tary perceived that in the rough draught of the con- 
tract the old recital of a proposal to tho board was 
inserted as a matter of course, but was contrary to 
tlie fact ; he therefore remarked it to Mr. Hastings. 
Mr Hastings, with great indifference, ordered that 
recital to be omitted; and the omission, with the re- 
mark that led to it, has, with the same easy indiffer- 
ence, been sent over to his masters. 

The Governor-General and Council declare them- 
selves apprehensive that Mr. Sulivan might be a loser 
by his bargain, upon account of troubles which they 
supposed existing in the country which was the object 
of it. Tliis was the more indulgent, because the con- 
tractor was tolerably secured against all losses. He 



♦ V 


•f ' 









'/ ' 



received a certain price for his commodity ; but lio was 
not obliged to pay any certain price to tli.. cultivator, 
who, having no other market than his, must sell it to 
him at his own terms. He was to receive lialf the 
yearly payment by advance, and he was not obliged 
to advance to the cultivator more than what he 
thought expedient; but if this sliould not be enough, 
he might, if he pleased, draw the whole payment be- 
fore the total delivery : such were the terms of the 
engagement with him. He is a contractor of a new 
species, who employs no capital whatsoever of his 
own, and has the market of compulsion at his en- 
tire command. But all these securities were not 
sufficient for the anxious attention of the Supreme 
Council to Mr. Sulivan's welfare : Mr. Hastings had 
before given him the contract without any propo- 
sal on his part; and to make their gift perfect, in 
a second instance they proceed a step beyond their 
former ill precedent, and they contract with Mr. Suli- 
van for four years. 

Notliing appears to have been considered but the 
benefit of the contractor, and for this purpose the 
solicitude shown in all the provisions could not be 
exceeded. One of the first things that struck Mr. 
Hastings as a blcmisli on his gift was the largeness 
of the penalty which he had on former occasions set- 
tled as the sa> jtion of the contract : this he now dis- 
covered to be so great as to be likely to frustrate its 
end by the impossibility of recovering so large a sum. 
How a large penalty can prevent the recovery of any, 
even the smallest part of it, is not quite apparent. 
In so vast a concern as that of opium, a fraud which 
at first view may not appear of much importance, 
and which may be very difficult in the discovery, 

It . 



may easily counterbalance the reduced penalty in this 
contract, which was settled in favor of Mr. Sulivan at 
about 20,000i. 

Monopolies were (as the House has observed) on- 
ly tolerated evils, and at best upon trial; a clause, 
therefore, was inserted in the contracts to Mackenzie, 
annulling the obligation, if the Court of Directors 
should resolve to abolish the monopoly ; but at tho 
request of Mr. Sulivan the contract was without diffi- 
culty purged of this obnoxious clause. Tho term 
was made absolute, the monopoly rendered irrevoca- 
ble, and the discretion of the Directors wholly ex- 
cluded. Mr. Hastings declared the reserved condition 
to be no longer necessary, " because the Directors 
had approved the monopoly." 

The Chieft and Councils at the principal factories 
had been obliged to certify the quantity and quality 
of the opium before its transport to Calcutta ; and 
their control over the contractor had been assigned 
as tlie reason for not leaving to those factories tlie 
management of this monopoly. Now things were 
changed. Orders were sent to discontinue this meas- 
ure of invidious precaution, and the opium was sent 
to Calcutta without anything done to ascertain its 
quality or even its quantity. 

An office of inspection had been also appointed 
to examine the quality of the opium on its (k-livery 
at the capital settlement. In order to case Mr. Suli- 
van from tliis troublesome formality, ^h. Hastings 
abolished tlie office; so that Mr. Sulivan was then 
totally freed from all examination or ;'onlrol whatso- 
ever, either first or last. 

These extraordinary chari j;es in favor of Mr. Suli- 
van were attended with losses to others, and seem to 


CI ■> ' 








Mve ex*a much Ji-"»"'„ ™' ^^I^" 
w» „, iu some man - ^ 1»« ^^^^ 
TBidue-miistcr, who was dcpri-ca oi 

T"" e'b^L" He auX.e.1 ,l,e private sale 
the same business. lie rehection both 

"•'-rlTT«drirtVeCu„cU Board w». 
on the Board of Trade ana ^ 


House will judge ot the offic^ey t the -^1^ 

offlee by the motives to it, ad ny .1 = 

h.g that to .« as « -?—-;■* t Tiers for 

piited by several as a duty, no^vtjvc , 

Sng away the precauttonai-y mspeetion at Patua 

Sd ttadtr :' the appheatlon or a Mr. 
C calling hlmseir '^i^,-;-;-'!™^ '„, ,.„ a 

T "ri^ToI'rd o™ °e,o:tl.afsubjcct, were 
member ot the lioara 01 . ^^^_ 

',"^' " n .f Ids Mr Beim, but he could not particu- 
been sold to this Mr. «™ • . i„sig„ca,-aiid 
larize the sum for which it lad been a g , 
.i,.( Ulr Beiin had afterwards sold it to a Jir. 1 ou „ 
that Mr. Benu na olcarlv that the contract 

rg:rrrs:iSi:rtoLr purpose than 



to supply him with a sum of money ; and the sale and 
re-sale seem strongly to indicate that the reduction of 
the penalty, and the other favorable conditions, were 
not granted for his ease in a business which he never 
was to execute, but to heighten the value of the object 
which he was to sell. Mr. Sulivan was at the time in 
Mr. Hastings's family, accompanied him in his prog- 
resses, and held the office of Judge-Advocate. 

The monopoly given for these purposes thus per- 
manently secured, all power of reformation cut off, 
and almost every precaution against fraud and oppres- 
sion removed, the Supreme Council found, or pre- 
tended to find, that the commodity for which they 
had just made such a contract was not a salable arti- 
cle, — and in consequence of this opinion, or pretence, 
entered upon a daring speculation hitherto unthought 
of, that of sending the commodity on the Company's 
account to the market of Canton. The Council al- 
leged, that, the Dutch being driven from Bengal, and 
the seas being infested with privateers, this commod- 
ity had none, or a very dull and depreciated demand. 

Had this been true, Mr. Hastings's conduct could 
admit of no excuse. He ought not to burden a falling 
market by lo g and heavy engagements. He ought 
studiously to have kept in his power the means of 
proportioning the supply to the demand. But his 
arguments, and those of the Council on that occa- 
sion, do not deserve the smallest attention. Facts, to 
which there is no testimony but the assertion of those 
who produce them in apology for the ill consequences 
of their own irregular actions, cannot be admitted. 
Mr. Hastings and the Council had nothing at all to 
do with that business: tlie Court of Directors had 
wholly taken the management of opium out of his 




[> .' 


■A { 



r, !•, 





and their hands, and by a solemn adjudicatim fixed 
it in the Board of Trade. But after it had contin 
ued there some years, Mr. Hastings, a little bofore hia 
grant of the monopoly to Mr. Sulivan, thought proper 
to reverse the decree of his masters, and by his owa 
authority to recall it to the Council. By this step ho 
became responsible for all the consequences. 

The Board of Trade appear, indeed, to merit repre- 
hension for disposing of the opium by private contract, 
as by that means the unerring standard of the public 
market cannot be applied to it. But they justified 
themselves by their success ; and one of their mem- 
bers informed your Committee that their last sale had 
been a good one : and though he apprehended a fall 
in the next, it was not such as in the opinion of your 
Committee could justify the Council-General in hav- 
ing recourse to untried and hazardous speculations of 
commerce. It appears that there must have been a 
market, and one sufficiently lively. They assign as a 
reason of this assigned [alleged ?] dulness of demand, 
that the Dutch had been expelled from Bengal, and 
could not carry the usual quantity to Batavia. But 
the Danes were not expelled from Bengal, and Portu- 
guese ship'-, traded there : neither of them were inter- 
dicted at Batavia, and the trade to the eastern ports 
was free to them. The Danes actually applied for and 
obtained an increase of the quantity to which their 
purchases had been limited ; anu as they asked, so they 
received this indulgence as a great favor. It does not 
appear that they were not very ready to supply the 
place of the Dutch. On the other hand, there is no 
doubt that the Dutch would most gladly receive an 
article, convenient, if not necessary, to the circula- 
tion of tlieir commerce, from the Danes, or under any 

■ ■£.'« I 



name ; nor was it fit that the Company should use 
an extreme strictness in any inquiry concerning the 
necessary disposal of one of their own staple com- 

The supply of the Cai.ton treasury with funds for 
the provision of the next year's Cliina investment 
was the ground of this plan. But the Council-Gen- 
eral appear still to have the particular advantage of 
Mr. Sulivan in view, — and, not satisfied with break- 
ing so many of the Cmpany's orders for that pur- 
pose, to make the contract an object salable to the 
greatest advantage, were obliged to transfer their 
personal partiality from Mr. Sulivan to the contract 
itself, and to hand it over to the assignees through 
all their successions. When the opium was deliv- 
ered, the duties and emoluments of the contractor 
ended; but (it appears from Mr. Williamson's let- 
ter, 18th October, 1781, and it is not denied by the 
Council-General) this new scheme furnished them 
with a pretext of making him broker for the China 
investment, with the profit of a new commission, — to 
what amount does not appear. But here their con- 
stant and vigilant observer, the vendue-master, met 
them again : — they seemed to live in no small terror 
of this gentleman. To satisfy him for the loss of his 
fee to which he was entitled upon the public sale, 
they gave him also a commission of one per cent on 
the investment. Thus was this object loaded with 
a double commission ; and every act of partiality to 
one i)erson produced a chargeable compensation t^ 
some other for the injustice that such partiality pro- 
duced. Nor was this the whole. The discontent 
and envy excited by this act went infinitely further 
than to tlioi^c immediately affected, and somethuig 













V ' 



or other was to be found out to satisfy as manj as 

As soon as it was discovered that the Council en- 
tertained a design of opening a trade on those nrinci< 
pics, it immediately engaged the attention of such as 
had an interest in speculations of freight. 

A memorial seems to have been drawn early, as it 
is dated on the 29th of March, though it was not the 
first publicly presented t > the board. This memo- 
rial was presented on the 17th of September, 1781, 
by Mr. ^'heler, conformably (as he says) to the 
desire o .e Governor-General ; and it contained a 
long ar .elaborate dissertation on the trade to China, 
tending to prove the advantage of extending the sale 
of English manufactures and other goods to the North 
of that country, beyond the usual emporium of Euro- 
pean nations. This ample and not ill-reasoned theo- 
retical performance (though not altogether new either 
in speculation or attempt) ended by a practical prop- 
osition, very short, indeed, of the ideas opened in the 
preliminary discourse, but better adapted to the im- 
mediate eifect. It was, that the Company should 
undertake the sale of its own opium in China, and 
commit the management of the business to the mo,- 
morialist, who offered to furnish them with a strong 
armed ship for that purpose. The offer was accept- 
ed, and the agreement made with him for the trans- 
port of two thousand chests. 

A proposal by another person was made the July 
following the date of this project : it appears to have 
been early in the formal delivery at tlic board : this 
was for the export of one thousand four hundred and 
eighty chests. T\m, too, was accepted, but with new 
conditions and restrictions : for in so vast and so new 





an undertaking great diflUculties occurred. In the 
first place, all importation of that commodity is rig- 
orously forbidden by tlio laws of China. The impro- 
priety of a political trader, who is lord over a great 
empire, being concerned in a contraband trade upon 
his own account, did not seem in the least to affect 
them ; but they were struck with the obvious danger 
of subjecting their goods to seizure by the vastness of 
the prohibited import. To secure the larger adven- 
ture, they require of the China factory that Colonel 
Watson's ship should enter the port of Canton as an 
armed ship, (they would not say a ship of war, though 
that must be meant,) that her cargo should not be re- 
ported ; they also ordered that other measures should 
be adopted to secure this prohibited article from seiz- 
ure. If the cargo should get in safe, another danger 
was in view, — the overloading the Chinese market 
by a supply beyond the demand ; for it is obvious 
that contraband trade must exist by small quantities 
of goods poured in by intervals, and not by great im- 
portations at one time. To guard against this in- 
convenience, they divide their second, though the 
smaller adventure, into two parts ; one of which was 
to go to the markets of the barbarous natives which 
inhabit the coast of Malacca, where the chances of 
its being disposed of by robbery or sale were at least 
equal. If the opium should be disposed of there, 
the produce was to be invested in merchandise sala- 
ble in China, or in dollars, if to be had. The other 
part (about one half) was to go in kind directly to 
the port of Canton. 

The dealing at this time seemed closed ; but the 
gentlemen wlio cliartercd the ships, always recollect- 
ing something, applied anew to tlie bourd to be fur- 


\ 'M 





£1 • -'I 


nished with cannon frona the Company's ord lanee. 
Sonao was delivered to them; but the Office i.i Ord- 
nance (bo heavily expensive to the Con)|.any * was 
not sufficient to spare a few iroii iruna lor a mer- 
chant ship. Orders wore given to » ast a few canaon, 
and an application made to Madnn, at a ihou nul 
miles' distance, for the r*!st. Madras answ-^rs, that 
they cannot exactly comply witli the requisition ; 
but still the board at Bengal hope» better thiist'^ 
from them than tiiey promise, and flat! r t'ieni.><elvt;s 
that with their assistance they si all properly itrm 
a ship of thirty-two guns. 

Whilst these disposif ins were making, th*, first 
proposer, perceiving aii antagcs from the circuitotis 
voyage of the m ond which had escaped his obser- 
vation, to make amends r>r his first omission, im- 
proved both on his own proposal and on that of tlie 
person who had improved on him. He tiiereforo ap- 
plied for loav. to take two hundred and fifty ch.-ts 
on his own account, whicli he s^id could " b* rmdiitf 
disposed of at the several places where it was ivoc<*s. 
sary f jr the ship to touch for wood and water, c in- 
telligence, during her intnded voyage throu>r!i the 
Fastem Itlands." As a corrective to this < xtraonli- 
nary request ho assured the board, that, if 1 » should 
meet with any iiii.'xpecied .^ ly at these ma ., .s, ho 
would send t leir rgo u .t^ destination, hiving se- 
cured a swift-tail !•;] sloop for the protectioi of his 
ship; and this slo p be propose , in such a case, to 
leave I'ohind. Such a. extraordinary piagerne^s to 
deal in opium lets i .mother view of the merits of 
tlie alleged dulness . the market, on which this 
traiifi wa undertaken 'or the Company's accoont. 
The C ancil, who hid with great condesccusion 





dot not appc. 
propi*- that 

aiid official ;cih 17 consented to ewry demand liither- 
to made, wo lot rcluctii t y, itli regard to this last. 
The quantity >f opium req ired by llife IVoigUters, and 
the perraissioii of a tnui ug voyapo. wen- granted 
without h-Mtation. Tl, carg.. having l' 'me far 
more vuiual'lo by tliis »v 'U uilusiou of private int.r- 
08t, the anuuinent which .as deouied suTicicnt t«> de- 
fend tho Comiwny's h= -go share of the adven' ire wat> 
n'w disco- '-'.vml i j l^e uueii to th.; protection of tho 
whole. 1 !• the convoy ot *»fso twd ship?- the Coun- 
cil hire at .trm another Uow Ui-y wi.o ami d, 
or whether in ;t they were properlv armed at ^11, 
It is true that the .>■ remo Council 
sc ships should also convey supplies 
'hi- was a secondary •oi.sideration : 
;t was the adventure of opium. To 
aanently attached, and were obliged 
attend to its tiual destination. 
Til Ufficulty ( f disposing of the opium according 
to this project being thus got over, a 1 Uorial pre- 
liminary difficulty still stood in tho way ui tlie whole 
M heme. The contractor, or his assignees, were to be 
pa Tlie Company's treasure was wholly cxliaust- 
ed, and even its credit was exceedingly strained 
"^^ latter, however, was tho better resource, and t. 
lu^ they resolved to apply. They therefore, at differ- 
ent times, open, d two loans of one hundred thousand 
jouads each. 1 lie first was reserved for the Compu 
iiy's servants, civil and iniiitary, to be distr 'lutel in 
fchares according to the. rank; the other was more 
general. The terms of I th loans vrere, tirat the risk 
of tho voyage was to be . a account of th-^ Company. 
The payment was to be in l>ills (at a rate of exchange 
settled from the supercargoes at Cajit-m) upon tlie 

to M us ; 

Ui«' , primi 

titi- they w 



:re I' 








■ !' 

same Compauy. In whatever proportion the adven- 
ture should fail, either in the ships not safely arriving 
in China or otherwise, in that proportion the subscrib- 
ers were to content themselves with the Company's 
bonds for their money, bearing eight per cent inter- 
est. A share in this subscription was thought exceed- 
ing desirable ; for Mr. Hastings writes from Benaro^, 
where he was employed in the manner already re- 
ported and hereafter to be observed upon, requesting 
that the subscription should be left open to his officers 
who were employed in the military operations against 
Cheyt Sing ; and accordingly three majors, seven cap- 
tains, twenty-three lieutenants, the surgeon belonging 
to the detachment, and two civil servants of high rank 
who attended him, were admitted to subscribe. 

Bills upon Europe without interest are always pre- 
ferred to the Company's bonds, even at the high in- 
terest allowed in India, They are, indeed, so greedi- 
ly sought there, and (because they tend to bring an 
immediate and visible distress in Leadenhall Street) 
so much dreaded here, that by an act of Parliament 
the Company's servajits are restricted from drawing 
bills beyond a certain amount upon the Company in 
England. In Bengal they have been restrained to 
about one hundred and eighty thousand pounds an- 
nually. The legislature, influenced more strongly 
with the same apprehensions, has restrained the Di- 
n-tors, as the Directors have restrained their ser- 
vants, and have gone so far as to call in the power of 
the Lords of the Treasury to authorize the accoptance 
of any bills beyond an amount prescribed in the act. 

The false principles of this unmercantile transac- 
tion (to speak of it in the mildest terms) were too 
gross not to be visible to those who contrived it 




That the Company should be made to borrow such a 
sum as two hundred thousand pounds * at eight per 
cent, (or terms deemed by the Company to be worse,) 
in order first to buy a commodity represented by 
themselves as depreciated in its ordinary market, in 
order afterwards to carry one half of it through a cir- 
cuitous trading voyage, depending for its ultimate 
success on the prudent and fortunate management 
of two or three sales, and purchases and re-sales of 
goods, and the chance of two or three markets, with 
all the risks of sea and enemy, was plainly no under- 
taking for such a body. The activity, private inter- 
est, and the sharp eye of personal superintcndency 
may now and then succeed in such projects ; but the 
remote inspection and unwieldy movements of great 
public bodies can find nothing but loss in them. 
Their gains, comparatively small, ought to be upon 
sure grounds; but here (as the Council states the 
matter) the private trader actually declines to deal, 
which is a proof more than necessary to demonstrate 
the extreme imprudence of such an undertaking on 
the Company's account. Still stronger and equally 
obvious objections lay to that member of the project 
which regards the introduction of a contraband com- 
modity into China, sent at such a risk of seizure not 
only of the immediate object to be smuggled in, but 
of all tlie Company's property in Canton, and possibly 
at a hazard to the existence of the British factory at 
that port. 

It is stated, indeed, that a monopolizing company 
in Canton, called the Cohong, had reduced commerce 
there to a deplorable state, and had rendered the 

* The whole xum has not been actually raised ; bat the deficiency 

is not vi;rv coiisidcrablo. 





I'' "1 






1 i 




( • 






.*■:■ t \ 



gains of private merchants, either in opium or any- 
thing else, so small and so precarious that they were 
no longer able by purchasing that article to furnish 
the Company with money for a China uivestment. 
For this purpose the person whose proposal is accept- 
ed declares his project to be to set up a monopoly 
on the part of the Company against the monopoly 
of the Chinese merchants: but as the Chinese mo- 
nopoly is at home, and supported (as the minute re- 
ferred to asserts) by the country naagistrates, it is 
plain it is the Chinese company, not the English, 
which must prescribe the terms, — particularly in a 
commodity which, if withheld from them at their 
market price, they can, whenever they please, be cer- 
tain of purchasing as a condemned contraband. 

There arc two further circumstances in this trans- 
action which strongly mark its character. The first 
is, that this adventure to China was not recommended 
to them by the factory of Canton ; it was dangerous 
to attempt it without their previous advice, and an 
assurance, grounded on the state of the market and 
the dispositions of the government, that the measure, 
in a commercial light, would be profitable, or at least 
safe. Neither was that factory applied to on the 
state of the bills which, upon their own account, 
they might be obliged to draw upon Europe, at a 
time when the Council of Bengal direct them to draw 
bills to so enormous an amount. 

The second remarkable circumstance is, that tlie 
Board of Trade in Calcutta (the proper adminis- 
trator of all that relates to the Company's invest- 
ment) does not seem to have given its approbation 
to the project, or to have been at all consulted upon 
it. The sale of opium had been adjudged to the 



Board of Trade for the express purpose of selling it 
in Bengal, not in China, — and of employing tlje prod- 
uce of such sale in the manufactures of the country 
in which the original commodity was produced. On 
the whole, it appears a mere trading speculation of 
the Council, invading the department of others, with- 
out lights of its own, without authority or informa- 
tion from any other quarter. In a commercial view, 
it straitened the Company's investment to winch it 
was destined ; as a measure of finance, it is a con- 
trivance by which a monopoly formed for the in- 
crease of revenue, instead of becoming one of its 
resources, involves the treasury, in the first instance, 
in a debt of two hiuidred thousand pounds. 

If Mr. Hastings, on the expiration of Mr. Mac- 
kenzie's contract, the advantages of which to the 
Company had been long doubtful, had put himself 
in a situation to do his duty, some immediate loss 
to the revenue would have been the worst conse- 
quence of the alleged depreciation ; probably it would 
not have beon considerable. Mr. Mackenzie's con- 
tract, which at first was for three years, had been 
only renewed for a year. Had the same course 
been pursued with Mr. Sulivan, they would have 
had it in their power to adopt some plan which 
might have secured them from any loss at all. But 
they pursued another plan: they carefully put all 
remedy still longer out of their reach by giving their 
contract lor four years. To cover all these irregu- 
larities, they interest the settlement in their favor 
by holding out to them the most tempting of all 
baits in a chance of bills upon Europe. 

In this manner the servants abroad have con- 
ducted themselves with regard to Mr. Sulivan's con- 


««« ' 





If ' P 




tract for opium, and the disposal of the commodity. 
In England the Court of Directors tooic it into con- 
sideration. First, as to the contract, in a letter dated 
12th July, 1782, they say, that, " having condemned 
the contract entered into with Mr. Mackenzie for the 
provision of opium, they cannot but be surprised at 
your having concluded a new contract for four years 
relative to that article with Mr. Stephen Sulivan, 
without leaving the decision of it to the Court of Di- 

The sentiments of the Directors are proper, and 
worthy of persons in public trust. Their surprise, 
indeed, at the disobedience to their orders is not 
perfectly natural in those who for many years have 
scarcely been obeyed in a single instance. They 
probably asserted their authority at this time with 
as much vigor as their condition admitted. 

They proceed : " "We do not mean," say they, " to 
convey any censure on Mr. Sulivan respecting the 
transact! jn ; but we cannot withhold our displeasure 
from the Governor-General and Council at such an 
instance of contempt of our authority." They then 
proceed justly to censure the removal of the inspec- 
tion, and some other particulars of this gross proceed- 
ing. As to the criminality of the parties, it is un- 
doubtedly true that a breach of duty in servants is 
highly aggravated by the rank, station, and trust of 
the offending party ; but no party, in such conspiracy 
to break orders, appear to us wholly free from fault. 

The Directors did their duty in reprobating this 
contract; but it is the opinion of your Committee 
that further steps ought to be taken to inquire into 
the legal validity of a transaction which manifestly 
attempts to prevent the Court of Directors from ap- 




plying any remedy to a grievance which has been for 
years the constant subject of complaints. 

Both Mr. Siilivan and Mr. Hastings are the Com- 
pany's servants, bound by their covenants and their 
oaths to promote the interest of their masters, and 
both equally bound to bo obedient to their orders. 
If the Governor-General had contracted with a stran- 
ger, not apprised of the Company's orders, and not 
bound by any previous engagement, the coritract 
might have heen good ; but whether a contract 
made between two servants, contrary to the or- 
ders of their common master, and to the preju- 
dice of his known interest, be a breach of trust 
on both sides, and whether the contract can in 
equity have force to bind the Company, whenever 
they shall be inclined to free themselves and the 
country they govern fi a this mischievous monop- 
oly, your Committee th. ik a subject worthy of fur- 
ther inquiry. 

With regard to the disposal of the opium, the Di- 
rectors very properly condemn the direct contraband, 
but they approve the trading voyage. The Directors 
have observed nothing concerning the loans: they 
probably reserved that matter for future considera- 

In no aifair has the connection between servants 
abroad and persons in power among the proprietors 
of the India Company been more discernible than in 
this. But if such confederacies, cemented by such 
means, are suffered to pass without due animadver- 
the authority of Parliament must become as 


inefficacious as all other authorities have proved to 
restrain the growth of disorders either in India or in 






I ■■■ 




1. 1 

K. -j f .' - 



1.' =!{ 


The reports made by the two committees of the 
House which sat in the years 1772 and 1773 of the 
state and conduct of the inland trade of Bengal tip to 
that period have assisted the inquiries of your Com- 
mittee with respect to the third and last article of 
monopoly, viz., that of salt, and made it unnecessary 
for them to enter into so minute a detail on that sub- 
joct as they have done on some others. 

Your Committee find that the late Lord CHve con- 
stantly asserted that the salt trade in Bengal had 
been a monopoly time immemorial, — that it ever 
was and ever must be a monopoly, — and that Coja 
Wazid, and other merchants long before him, had 
given to the Nabob and his ministers two hundred 
tlionsand pounds per annum for the exclusive privi- 
lege. The Directors, in their letter of the 24th De- 
cember, 1776, paragraph 76, say, " that it has ever 
been in a great measure an exclusive trade." 

The Secret Committee report,* that under the gov- 
ernment of the Nabobs the duty on salt made in Ben- 
gal was two and an half per cent paid by Mussulmen, 
and five per cent paid by Gentoos, On the accession 
of Mir Cassim, in 1760, the claim of the Company's 
servants to trade in salt duty-free was first avowed. 
Mr. Yansittart made an agreement with him by 
which the duties should be fixed at nine per cent. 
The Council annulled the agreement, and reduced 
the duty to two and an half per cent. On this Mir 
Cassim ordered that no customs or duties whatsoever 
should be collected for the future. But a majority 
of the Council (22nd March, 1763) resolved, that the 

• Fourth Report, page 106. 



making the exomption general was a bread-, of the 
Company's privileges, and that the Nabob sliould bo 
positively required to recall it, and collect duties as 
before from the country merchants, and all other 
persons who had not the protection of the Compaq 
ny's dustuck. The Directors, as the evident reason 
of the thing and as their duty required, disapproved 
highly of these transactions, and ordered (8th Febru- 
ary, 1764) a final and effectual stop to be put to the 
inland trade in salt, and several other articles of com- 
merce. But other politics and other interests pre- 
vailed, so that in the May following a General Court 
resolved, that it should be recommended to ihe Court 
of Directors to reconsider the preceding orders ; in 
consequence of which the irectors ordered the Gov- 
ernor and Council to form a plan, in concert with the 
Nabob, for regulating the inland trade. 

On these last orders Lord Clive's plan was formed, 
in 1765, for engrossing the sole purchase of salt, and 
dividing the profits among the Company's senior ser- 
vants. The Directors, who had hitherto reluctantly 
given way to a monopoly under any ideas or for any 
purposes, disapproved of this plan, and on the 17th 
May, 1766, ordered it to be abolished ; but they sub- 
stituted no other in its room.* In this manner things 
continued until November, 1767, when the Directors 
repeated their orders for excluding all persons what- 
ever, excepting the natives only, from being con- 
cerned in the inland trade in salt ; and they declared 
that (vide par. 90) "such trade is hereby abolished 
and put a final end to." In the same letter (par. 
92) they ordered that the salt trade should be laid 

• Par. 36. Vide Fourth Report from Com. of Secrecy in 1778, 
Appendix, No. 4S. 



II! V;] 








open to the natives in general, subject to such a duty 
as might produce one hundred and twenty thousand 
pounds a year. This policy was adopted hy the le- 
gislature. In the act of 1773 it was expressly pro- 
vided, that it should not be lawful for any of his 
Majesty's subjects to engage, intermeddle, or be any 
way concerned, directly or indirectly, in the inland 
trade in salt, except on the India Company's ac- 

Under the positive orders of the Company, the salt 
trade appears to have continued open from 1768 to 
1772. The act, indeed, contained an exception in fa- 
vor of the Company, and left them a liberty of dealing 
in salt upon their own account. But still this poli- 
cy remained unchanged, and their orders unrevoked. 
But in the year 1772, without any instruction from 
the Court of Directors indicating a change of opin- 
ion or system, the whole produce was again monopo- 
lized, professedly for the use of the Company, by Mr. 
Hastings. Speaking of this plan, he says (letter to 
the Directors, 9'"'* February, 1775) : " No new hard- 
ship has been :. losed upon the salt manufacturers 
by taking the m .mgement of that article into the 
hands of government ; the only difference is, that the 
profit whicli was before reaped by Englisli gentlemen 
and by banians is now acquired by the Company." 
In May, 1766, the Directors had condemned the mo- 
nopoly on any conditions whatsoever. " At that time 
they thought it neither consistent with their honor 
nor their dignity to promote such an exclusive 
trade."* "They considered it, too, as disgraceful, 
and below the dignity of their present ntuation, to allow 

• Vide Sel. Letter to BengRi, 17 Mny, 1766, Prvr. 36, in Fonrtli 
Report from Com. of Secrecy, in 1773, Ai/pendix, No. 45. 




of such a monopoly, and that, were they to allow it 
under any restrictions, they should consider them- 
selves as assenting and subscribing to all the mis- 
chiefs which Bengal had presented to them for four 
years past." • 

Notwithstanding this solemn declaration, in their 
letter of 24th December, 1776, they approve the 
plan of Mr. Hastings, and say, " that the monopoly, 
on its present footing, can be no considerable griev- 
ance to the country," &c. 

This, however, was a rigorous monopoly. The 
account given of it by General Clavering, Colonel 
Monson, and Mr. Francis, in their minute of lltb 
January, 1775, in which the situation of the molun- 
geea, or persons employed in the salt manufacture, 
is particularly described, is stated at length in the 
Appendix. Mr. Hastings himself says, " The power 
of obliging molungees to work has been customary 
from time immemorial." 

Nothing but great and clear advantage to govern- 
ment could accoimt for, and nothing at all perhaps 
could justify, the revival of a monopoly thus circum- 
stanced. The advantage proposed by its revival was 
the transferring the profit, which was before reaped 
by English gentlemen and banians, to the Company. 
The profits of the former were not problematical. It 
was to be seen what the effect would be of a scheme 
to transfer them to the latter, even under the man- 
agement of the projector himself. In the Revenue 
Consultations of September, 1776, Mr. Hastings said, 
" Many causes have since combined to reduce this ar- 
ticle of revenue almost to nothing. The plan which 
I am wnv inclined to recommend for the future 

• Ibid. Par. 37. 

VOL. Till. 






L ' 

inanagcmoiit of the salt revenue differs widely from 
that which I adopted under different circumstances.'* 

It appears that the ill success of his former scheni 
did not deter him from recommending another. Ac- 
cordingly, in July, 1777, Mr. Hastings proposed, and 
it was resolved, that the salt mahls should bo let, 
with the lands, to the farmers and zemindars for a 
if.ady-money rent, including duties, — the salt to bo 
left to their disposal. After some trial of this meth- 
od, Mr. Hastings thought fit to abandon it. In Sep- 
tember, 1780, ho changed his plan a third time, and 
proposed the institution of a salt office; the salt was 
to be again engrossed for the benefit of the Company, 
and tlie management conducted by a number of salt 

From the preceding facts it appears that in this 
branch of the Company's government little regard 
has been paid to the ease and welfare of the natives, 
and that the Directors have nowhere shown greater 
inconsistency than in their orders on this subject. 
Yet salt, considering it as a necessary of life, was by 
no means a safe and proper subject for so many ex- 
periments and innovations. For ten years together 
the Directors reprobated the idea of suffering this 
necessary of life to be engrossed on any condition 
whatsoever, and strictly prohibited all Europeans from 
trading in it. Yet, as soon as they were made to 
expect from Mr. Hastings that the profits of tlie 
monopoly should be converted to their own use, they 
immediately declared that it *' could be no considera- 
ble grievance to the country," and authorized its con- 
tinuance, until he himself, finding it produced little 
or nothing, renounced it of his own accord. Your 
Committee are apprehensive that this will at all 




times, whatever flattering appearance it may wear 
for a time, be the fate of any attempt to monopolize 
the salt for tho profit of government. In the first 
instance it will raise tho jjrice on tho consumer 
beyond its just level ; but that evil will soon be 
corrected by means ruinous to the Company as 
monopolists, viz., by the embezzlement of their own 
salt, and by the importation of foreign salt, neither 
of which the government of Bengal may have power 
for any long time to prevent. In tho end govern- 
ment will probably bo undersold and beaten down to 
a losing price. Or, if thoy should attempt to force 
all tho advantages from this article of which by ev- 
ery exertion it may be made capable, it may distress 
some other part of their possessions in India, and 
destroy, or at least impair, tho natural intercourse 
between them. Ultimately it may hurt Bengal itself, 
and the produce of its landed revenue, by destroying 
the vent of that grain which it would otherwise bar- 
ter for salt. 

Tour Committee think it hardly necessary to ob- 
serve, that the many changes of plan which have tak- 
en place in the management of the salt trade are far 
from honorable to the Company's government, — and 
that, even if the monopoly of this article were a prof- 
itable concern, it should not be permitted. Exclu- 
sive of the general effect of this and of all monopolies, 
the oppressions which the manufacturers of salt, called 
mohmgees, still suffer under it, though perhaps alle- 
viated in some particulars, deserve particular atten- 
tion. There is evidence enough on the Company's 
records to satisfy your Committee that these people 
have been treated with great ligor, and not only de- 
frauded of the due pnyment of their labor, but deliv- 


'.: fi 








ered over, like cattle, in succession, to different mas- 
ters, who, under pretonce of buying up the balances 
due to their preceding employerji, find nteans of keep- 
ing them in perpetual slavery. For evils of this na- 
ture there can be no perfect remedy as long as the 
monopoly continues. Tliey are in the nature of ihe 
thing, and cannot be cured, or effoctuilly counteract- 
ed, even by a just and vigilant administration on the 
spot. Many objections occur to th • farming of any 
branch of the public revenue in Beu;. il, particular- 
ly against farming the salt land?:. Bui the dilemma 
i> 'vhich government by this system is constantly re- 
duced, of authorizing great injustice or suffering great 
U- a, is alone sufficient to condemn it. Either govem- 
mpnt is expected to support the farmer or contract- 
or in all his pretensions by an exertion of power, 
which tends of necessity to the ruin of the parties 
subjected to the farmer's contract, and to the sup- 
pression of free trade, — or, if such assistance be re- 
fused him, he complains that he is not supported, that 
private persons interfere with his contract, that the 
manufacturers desert their labor, and t"iat propor- 
tionate deductions must be allowed him. 

After the result of their examination into the p-t^r- 
eral nature and effect of this monopoly, it remains 
only for your Committee to inquire whether there 
was any valid foundation for that declaration of Mr. 
Hastings which we conclude must have principally 
recommended the monopoly of salt to the favor of the 
Court of Directors, viz., " that the profit, which was 
before reaped by English gentlemen, and by banians, 
was now acquired by the Company." On the contra- 
ry, it was proved and acknowledged before the Gov- 
ernor-General and Council, when they inquired into 


• % 



this matu-r, iu March, 1775, that the Chiefs and 
Council?* of tlioso districts in .hicl* there were salt 
li. Ills reiLivrd particular salt farm'' or their o/rx use, 
iind divided die profits, in certain stated proportiunw, 
ainoiig theuiselves and their assistants. But, unless 
ii lU'Udl of t1i< "^0 transactions, and of the persons cuii- 
ceraed in them, should be called for hy the Hon^e, it 
is onr wihl» to avoid entering into it. On one exam- 
ple only your Committee think it just and prupvr to 
insist, stating first to the House on what principles 
the J have made this selection. 

In pursuing their inquiries, ir Committee have 
endeavored chieSy to keep in view the conduct of 
persons in the highest station, particularly of those 
in whom the legislature, as wcil as the Company, have 
placed a special confidence, — judging that the con- 
duct of such persons is not only most important in 
itself, but most likely to influence the subordinate 
ranks of the service. Your Committee have also ex- 
amined tlie proceedings of the Court of Directors on 
all those instances of the behavior of their servants 
that seemed to deserve, and did sometimes attract, 
their immediate attention. Tliey constantly find that 
the negligence of the Court of Directors has kept pace 
with, and must naturally have quickened, the growth 
of the practices which they have condemned. Breach 
of duty abroad will always go hand in li.and with no. 
lect of it at home. In general, the Court of Dir 3- 
tors, though sufficiently severe in censuring ofTences, 
and sometimes in punishing those whom they have 
regarded as offendcx's of a lower rank, appear to have 
suffered the most conspicuous and therefore the most 
dangerous examples of disobedience and misconduct 
in tlie fii t department of their service to pass with a 



It 'I 





feeble and ineffectual condemnation. In those cases 
which they have deemed too apparent and too strong 
to be disregarded even with safety to themselves, and 
against which their heaviest displeasure has been de- 
clared, it appears to your Committee that their inter- 
ference, such as it was, had a mischievous rather than 
a useful tendency, A total neglect of duty in this 
respect, however culpable, is not to be compared, 
either in its nature or in its consequences, with the 
destructive principles on which they have acted. It 
has been their practice, if not system, to inquire, to 
censure, and not to punish. As long as the miscon- 
duct of persons in power in Bengal was encouraged 
by nothing but the hopes of concealment, it may bo 
presumed that they felt some restraint upon their ac- 
tions, and that they stood in some awe of the power 
placed over them; whereas it is to be apprehended 
that the late conduct of the Court of Directors tells 
them, in effect, that they have nothing to fear from 
the certainty of a discovery. 

On the same principle on which your Committee 
have generally limited their researches to the persons 
placed by Parliament or raised or put in nomination 
by the Court of Directors to the highest station in 
Bengal, it was also their original wish to limit those 
inquiries to the period at which Parliament interposed 
its autliority between the Company and their servants, 
and gave a new constitution to the Presidency of Fort 
William. If the Company's servants had taken a 
new date from that period, and if from thencefor- 
ward their conduct hod corresponded with the views 
of the legislature, it is probable that a review of the 
transactions of remoter periods would not have been 
deemed necessary, and that the remembrance of them 




would have been gradually effaced and finally buried 
in oblivion. But the reports which your Committee 
have already made have shown the House that from 
the year 1772, when those proceedings commenced 
in Parliament on which the act of the following year 
was founded, abuses of every kind have prevailed and 
multiplied in Bengal to a degree unknown in former 
times, and are perfectly sufficient to account for the 
present distress of the Company's affaivs both at home 
and abroad. The affair which your Committee now 
lays before the House occupies too large a space in 
the Company's records, and is of too much impor- 
tance in every point of view, to be passed over. 

Your Committee find that in March, 1775, a pe- 
tition was presented to the Governor-General and 
Council by a person called Coja Kaworke, an Ar- 
mei'ian merchant, resident at Dacca, (of which di- 
vision Mr. Richard Barwell had lately been Cliief,) 
setting forth in substance, that in November, 1772, 
the petitioner had farmed a certain salt district, 
called Savagepoor, and had entered into a con- 
tract with the Committee of Circuit for providing 
and delivering to the India Company the salt pro- 
duced in tliat district; tliat in 1773 he farmed an- 
other, called Selimabad, on similar conditions. He 
alleges, that in February, 1774, when Mr. Barwell 
arrived at Dacca, he charged the petitioner with 
1,25,500 rupees, (equal to 13,000Z.,) : s a contri- 
bution, and, in order to levy it, did the same year 
deduct 20,799 rupees from the amount of the ail- 
vance money which was ordered to be paid to the 
petitioner, on account of the India Company, for 
the provision of salt in tiie two farms, and, after 
doing so, compelled the petitioner to execute and 







V Ml 


1 * 





1 1 





five him four different bonds for 77,627 rupees, iu 
the name of one Porran Paul, for the remainder of 
such contribution, or unjust profit. 

Such were the allegations of the pet.iion relative to 
the unjust exaction. The harsh neans of compelling 
the payment make another and .ery material part; 
for the petitioner asserts, that, in order to recover 
the amount of these bonds, guards were placed over 
him, and that Mr, Barwell by ill usage and oppres- 
sions recovered from him at different times 48,656 
Arcot rupees, besides 283 rupees extorted by the 
guard, — that, after this payment, two of the bonds, 
containing 36,313 rupees, were restored to him, and 
he was again committed to the charge of four peons, 
or guards, to pay the amount of the remaining two 
bonds. The petition further charges, that the said 
gentleman and his people had also extorted from the 
petitioner other sums of money, which, taken togeth- 
er, amounted to 25,000 rupees. 

But tlie heaviest grievance alleged by him is, that, 
after the sums of money had been extorted on ac- 
count of the farms, the faith usual in such transac- 
tions is allowed not to have been kept ; but, after the 
petitioner had been obliged to buy or compound for 
the farms, that they were taken from him, — "that 
the said Richard Barwell, Esquire, about his depart- 
ure from Dacca, in October, 1774, for self-interest 
wrested from the petitioner the aforesaid two mahls, 
(or districts,) and farmed them to another person, 
notwitlistanding he had extorted from the petitioner 
a considerable sum of money on account of those pur- 

To this petition your Committee find two accounts 
annexed, in which the sums saiJ to be paid to or 



taken by Mr. Barwell, and the respective dates of 
the several payments, are specified; and they find 
that the account of particulars agrees with and 
makes up the gross sum charged in the petition. 

Mr. Barwell's immediate answer to the preceding 
charge is contained in two letters to the board, dated 
23rd and 24th of March, 1775. The answer is re- 
markable. He asserts, that " the whole of Kaworke's 
relation is a gross misrepresentation of facts ; — that 
the bimple fact was, that in January, 1774, the salt 
mahls of Savagepoor and Selimabad became his, and 
were re-let by him to this man, in the names of Bus- 
sunt Roy and Kissen Deb, on condition that he should 
account with him I31r. BarweW] for profits to a cer- 
tain sum, and that he [Mr. Barwell] engaged for 
Savagepoor in the persuasion of its being a very 
profitable farm " ; and he concludes with saying, 
"If I am mistaken in my reasoning, and the wish 
to add to my fortune has warped my judyment, in a 
transaction that may appear to the board in a light 
different to what I view it in, it is past, — I cannot 
recall it, — and I rather choose to admit an error 
than deny a fact." In his second Icttor he says, 
" To the Honorable Court of Directors I will sul)mit 
all my rights in the salt contracts I engaged in ; and 
if ill their opinion those rights vest in the Company, 
I will account to them for the last shilling I have re- 
ceived from such contracts, my intentions being up- 
right ; and as I never did wish to profit myself to the 
prejudice of my employers, by their judgment I will 
be impli itly directed." 

The majority of the board desired that Kaworke'a 
petition should be transmitted to England by the ship 
then under dispatch; and it was accordingly sent 






■with Mr. Barwell's replies. Mr. Barwell moved that 
a committee should be appointed to take into consid- 
eration what he had to offer on tlie subject of Ka- 
worke's petition ; and a committee was accordingly 
appointed, consisting of all the members of the Coun- 
cil except tlie Governor-General. 

The committee opened their proceedings with read- 
ing a second petition from Kaworke, containing cor- 
rected accounts of cash said to be forcibly taken, and 
of the extraordinary and unwarrantable profits taken 
or received from him by Richard Barwell, Esquire ; 
all which are inserted at large in the Appendix. By 
these accounts Mr. Barwell is charged with a balance 
or debt of 22,421 rupees to Kaworke. The princi- 
pal difference between him and Mr. Barwell arises 
from a different mode of stating the accounts ac- 
knowledged to exist between them. In the account 
current signed by Mr. Barwell, he gives Kaworke 
credit for the receipt of 98,42G rupees, and charges 
hira with a balance of 27,073 rupees. 

The facts stated or admitted by Mr. Barwell are 
as follow: that the salt farms of Selimabad and 
Savagepoor were his, and re-let by him to the two 
Armenian merchants, Michael and Kaworke, on con- 
dition of their paying him 1,25,000 rupees, exclu- 
sive of their engagements to the Company ; that tlie 
engajremont was written in tlie name of Bussunt Roy 
and Kissen Dob Sing ; and Mr Barwell says, that the 
reason of its being "in these people's names was 
because it wan not thought consistent with the puUic 
regulations that the names of any Europeans should 

It is remarkable that this policy was carried to 
still greater length. Means were used to remove such 



an obnoxious proceeding, as far as possible, from tbe 
public eye ; and they were such as will strongly im- 
press the House with the facility of abuse and the 
extreme difficulty of detection in everything which 
relates to the Indian administration. For these sub- 
stituted persons were again represented by the fur- 
ther substitution of another name, viz., Eada Churn 
Dey, whom Mr. Barwell asserts to be a real per- 
son living at Dacca, and who stood for the factory of 
Dacca ; whereas the Armenian affirms that there was 
no such person as Rada Chum, and that it was a 
fictitious name. 

Mr. Barwell, in his justification, proceeds to af- 
firm, that Coja Kaworke never had the management 
of the salt mahls, " but on condition of accounting to 
the former Chief, and to Mr. Barwell, for a specified 
advantage arising from them, — t]mt Mr. Barwell de- 
termined, without he could reconcile the interests of the 
public with his own private emoluments, that he would 
not engage in this concern, — and that, when he took 
an interest in it, it was for specified benefit in money, 
and every condition iu the public engagement to be 

Your Committee have stated the preceding facts 
in the same terms in which they are stated by Mr. 
Barwell. The House is to judge how far they 
amount to a defence against the charges contained 
in Kaworke's petition, or to an admission of the 
truth of the principal part of it. Mr. Barwell does 
not allow that compulsion was used to extort the 
money which he received from the petitioner, or 
that the latter was dispossessed of the farms iu con- 
sequence of an olTor made to Mr. Barwell by another 
person (llamsunder Paiilet) to pay him a lac of ru- 





f : 




pecs more for them. The truth of theae charges 
lias not been ascertained. They were declared by 
Mr. Barwell to be false, but no attempt was made 
by him to invalidate or confute them, though it con- 
cerned his reputation, and it was his duty, in the 
station wherein he was placed, that charges of such 
a nature should have been disproved, — at least, tlie 
accuser should have been pushed to the proof of 
them. Nothing of this kind appears to have been 
done, or even attempted. 

The transaction itself, as it stands, is clearly col- 
lusive ; the form in which it is conducted is clandes- 
tine and mysterious in an extraordinary degree ; and 
the acknowledged object of it a great illicit profit, 
to be gained by an agent and trustee of the Com- 
pany at the expense of his employers, and of which 
lie confesses he has received a considerable part. 

The committee of the Governor-General and Coun- 
cil appear to have closed their proceedings with sev- 
eral resolutions, which, with the answers given by 
Mr. Barwell as a defence, are inserted in the Appen- 
dix. The whole are referred thither together, on 
account of the ample extent of the answer. These 
papers will be found to throw considerable light not 
only on the points in question, but on the general 
administratiou of the Company's revenues in Bengal. 
On some passages in Mr. Barwell's defence, or ac- 
count of his conduct, your Committee oflFer the fol- 
lowing remarks to the judgment of the House. 

In his letter of the 23rd March, 1775, he says, that 
he engaged for Savagepoor in the permaaion of its 
heing a very profitable farm. In this place your Com- 
mittee think it proper to state the 17tli article of the 
regulations of the Committee of Circuit, formed in 



May, 1772, by the President and Council, of which 
Mr. Barwell was a member, together with their own 
observations thereupon. 

17th. " That no peshcar, banian, or other servant, 
of whatever denomination, of the collector, or rela- 
tion or dependant of any such servant, be allowed 
to farm lands, nor directly or indirectly to hold a 
concern in any farm, nor to be security for any 
farmer ; that the collector be strictly enjoined to pre- 
vent such practices ; and that, if it shall be discov- 
ered that any one, under a false name, or any kind 
of collusion, hath found means to evade this order, 
he shall be subject to an heavy fine, proportionate 
to the amount of the farm, and the farm shall be re- 
let, or made khas: and if it shall appear that the 
collector shall have countenanced, approved, or con- 
nived at a breach of this regulation, he shall stand 
ipso facto dismissed from his collectorship. Neither 
shall any European, directly or indirectly, be per- 
mitted to rent lands in any part of the country." 

Remark hy the Board. 
17th. " If the collector, or any persons who par- 
take of his authority, are permitted to bo the farmers 
of the country, no other persons will dare to be their 
competitors : of course they will obtain the farms on 
their own terms. It is not fit that the servants of the 
Company should be dealers with their masters. The 
collectors are checks on the farmers. If they them- 
selves turn farmers, what checks can be found for 
themf What security will the Company have for 
their property, or where are the ryots to look foi- 
relief against oppressions ? " 




t I 



The reasons assigned for the preceding regulation 
seem to jour Committee to bo perfectly just; but 
they c;i!i by no means l^e reconciled to those which 
induced Mr. Barwell to engage in the salt farms of 
Selimabad and Savagopoor. la the first place, his 
doing so is at length a direct and avowed, though 
at first a covert, violation of the public regulation, to 
which he was himself a party as a member of the 
government, as well as an act of disobedience to the 
Company's positive orders on this subject. In their 
Cenoral Letter of the 17th May, 1766, the Court of 
Directors say, "We positively order, that no cove- 
nanted servant, or Englishman residing under our 
protection, shall be suffered to hold any land for his 
own account, directly or indirectly, in his own name 
or that of others, or to be concerned in any farms or 
reveniies whutsoevM-." 

Secondly, if. in-road of letting the Company's lands 
or farms to indifferent persons, their agent or trus- 
tee be at liberty to hold them himself, he will always 
(on principles stated and f.Jhered to in the defence) 
have a sufficient reason for farming them on his own 
account, since he can at all times make them as 
profitable as he pleases ; oi if he leases them to a 
tliird person, yet reserves an intermediate profit for 
himself, tluit profit may be as great as he thinks fit, 
and must be necessarily made at the Company's ex- 
pense. If at the same time he be collector of tlio rev- 
enues, it will be his interest to recommend remissions 
in favor of the nominal farmer, and he will have it 
in his power to sink the amount of his collections. 
These principles, and tlie correspondent practices, 
leave the India Company without any security that 
all the leases of the lands of Bengal may not have 




been disposed of, under that admiisistration which 
made the five year?' settlement in 1772, in the same 
manner and for tUv same pnr}>o:e. 

Tu oniihlo the IIoupo to judge how far this a-pn; 
hension may be founded, it will bo proper to M'.i \ 
tlmt Mr. Nichoh.^ Grucbcr, whc ptocoded i-. Uir- 
well in the Chief^Uip of Dacca, in a li-Hop da ' :^; '.. 
of April, 1775, declares that ho paid to tho Cf > 't- 
tee of Circuit twelve thousand rupees as tliciir prvti* 
on u siii^'lo salt farm. — which sum, he says. " I j.aid 
the Coniniittec at tluiir request, before their depart- 
uro from Dacca, and reimbursed myself out of ihe 
advnncen directe<l to bo issued for tho provision of the, 
salt." Thus ono ill! fit and mischievous transaction 
always leads to another; and the irrcgidar farming 
of revenue brings on the misapplication of the coni- 
raerei:il advances. 

Mr r.arwell pr.ifess:!3 himself to he sensible " that 
awifh to add tr> hio fortune maif pox>:hhj have vnrfrd 
his jiidgmmi, and that he rather ehtnses to ad>n!t an 
error than dewf afiiet.'" But your Committee are of 
opinion that tlie extraordinary caution and tho intri- 
cate contrivances witli which his ^'.nre in tliis transac- 
tion is wrapped up form a suflTieitnt proof tlmt he was 
not altogether misled in his judgment; and tb.iugh 
there might be some merit in acknowledging an rrur 
before it was discovered, there could be veiy little 
in a confession produced by previous dtilection. 

Tho reasons assigned by Mr. Barwell, in defence of 
the clandestine part of tins transaction, seem to yotir 
Committee to bo insufficient in themselves, and not 
very fit to be urged by a man in his station. In one 
place he says, that " it was not thought connii'tent v'ith 
the pvbUe regulations that the names of any Europeans 

I - H 





t M 




ihould appear," In another he says, " I am aware of 
the objection that has been made to the English tak- 
ing farms under the names of natives, as prohibited 
by the Company's orders ; and I roust deviate a lit- 
tie upon tliis. It has been generally understood that 
the scope and tendency of the Honorable Company's 
prohibition of farms to Europeans was meant only to 
exclude such as could not possibly, in their own per- 
sons, come under the jurisdiction of tlio Duannd 
courts of Adawlet, because, u;)on any failure of en- 
gagements, upon any complaint of unjust oppression, 
or other cause of discontent whatever, it was sup- 
posed an European might screen himself from the 
process of the country judicature. But it was never 
supposofl that an European of credit "nd re$ponsibility 
was absolutely incapable from holding certain ten- 
ures under the sanction and authority of the country 
laws, or from becoming security for such native farm- 
ers, contractors, Ac, «fec., as he might protect and 

Your Committee have opposed this construction of 
Mr. Barwell's to the positive order which the con- 
duct it is meant to color has violated. " Europeans 
of credit and responsibility," that is, Europeans armed 
with woaltii and power, and exercising ofTiccs of au- 
thority ami trust, instead of being excepted from the 
spirit o*' t!io lostriction, must bo supposed tlie persons 
who aro -liefly mean*; to be comprehended in it ; for 
abstract tlie idea of an European from the ideas of 
power and influence, and the restriction is no longer 

Your Committee are therefore of opinion that the 
nature of tiie evil which was meant to be prevented 
by tlie above orders and regulations was not altered. 



or the evil itself diminiehcd, by the collusive methods 
made use of to evade them, — and that, if the regu- 
lations wore proper, (as they unquestionably were,) 
they ought to have been punctually complied with, 
particularly by the members of the government, who 
formed the plan, and who, as trustees of the Company, 
were especially answerable for their being duly cur- 
ried into execution. Your Committee have no reason 
to believe that it could ever have been generally un- 
derstood " that the Company's prohibition of farms to 
Europeans was meant only to exclude such as could 
not possibly, in their own jjersons, come under the 
jurisdiction of the Duanud courts " : no such restric- 
tion is so much as hinted at. And if it had been so 
understood, Mr. Barwcll was one of the persons who, 
from their runic, station, and influence, must have 
been the principal objects of the prohibition. Since 
the establishment of the Company's influence in Ben- 
gal, no Europeans, of any rank whatever, have been 
sul)ject to the process of the country judicature ; and 
whether they act avowedly for themselves, and take 
farms in their own name, or substitute native In- 
dians to act for them, the difference is not material. 
The same influence that screened an European from 
the jurisdiction of the country courts would have 
equally protected his native agent and representative. 
For many years past the Company's servants have 
presided in those courts, and in comparison with thrir 
authority the native authority is nothing. 

The earliest instructions that appear to have been 
given by the Court of Directors in consequence of 
these transactions in Bengal are dated the 5th of Feb- 
ruary, 1777. In their letter of that date they applaud 
the proceedings of the board, meaning the majority, 

VOL. VIII. 11 









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I6SJ East Main StrmI 

Rochester, New York 14609 USA 

(716) 482 - 0300 - PI>one 

(716) 288 -5989 -Fox 





til I 

(then consisting of General Clavering, Colonel Mon- 
son, and Mr. Francis,) aa highly meritorious, and 
promise them their firmest support. " Some of the 
cases" they say, " are so flagrantly corrupt, and others 
attended tvith circumstances so oppressive to the inhabi- 
tants, that it would he unjust to suffer the delinquents to 
go unpunished." "With this observation their proceed- 
ings appear to have ended, and paused for more than 
a year. 

On the 4th of March, 1778, the Directors appear to 
have resumed the subject. In their letter of that date 
they instructed the Governor and Council forthwith 
to commence a prosecution in tlie Supreme Court of 
Judicatur*^ against the persons who composed the 
Committee of Circuit, or their representatives, and 
also against Mr. Barwell, in order to recover, for the 
use of the Company, the amount of all advantages 
acquired by them from their several engagements in 
salt contracts and farms. Adverting, however, to the 
declaration made by Mr. Barwell, that he would ac- 
count to the Court of Directors for the last shilling 
he had received and abide implicity by their judg- 
ment, they thought it probable, that, on being ac- 
quainted with iheir peremptory orders for commenc- 
ing a prosecution, he might be desirous of paying his 
share of profits into the Company's treasury; and 
they pointed out a precaution to be used in accepting 
such a tender on his part. 

On this part of the transaction your Committee 
observe, that the Court of Directors appear blamable 
in having delayed till February, 1777, to take any 
measure in consequence of advices so interesting and 
important, and on a matter concerning which tiiey 
had made so strong a declaration, — considering that 



early iu April, 1776, they say " they had investigated 
the charges, and had then come to certain resolutions 
concerning them." But their delaying to send out 
positive orders for commencing a prosecution against 
the parties concerned till March, 1778, cannot be ac- 
counted for. In the former letter they promise, if 
they shoi .d find it necessary, to return the original 
covenants of such of their servants as had been any 
ways concerned in the undue receipt of money, in 
order to enable the Governor-General and Council 
to recover the same by suits in the Supreme Court. 
But your Committee do not find that the covenants 
were ever transmitted to Bengal. To whatever cause 
these instances of neglect and delay may be attribut- 
ed, they could not fail to create an opinion in Bengal 
that the Court of Directors were not heartily intent 
upon the execution of their own orders, and to dis- 
courage those members of government who were dis- 
posed to undertake so invidious a duty. 

In consequence of these delays, even their first 
orders did not arrive in Bengal until some time after 
the death of Colonel Monson, when the whole power 
of the board had devolved to Mr. Hastings and Mr. 
Barwell. When they sent what they call their posi- 
tive orders, in March, 1778, they had long been ap- 
prised of the death of Colonel Monson, and must 
have been perfectly certain of the effect which that 
event would have on the subsequent measures and 
proceedings of the Governor-General and Council. 
Their opinion of the principles of those gentlemen 
appears in their letter of the 28th of November, 1777, 
wherein they say " they cannot but express their con- 
cern that the power of granting away their property 
in perpetuity should have devolved upon such per 


ii ' 



V ' 








;i ' 

But the conduct of the Court of Directors appears 
to be open to objections of a nature still more serious 
and iiiportant. A recovery of the amount of Mr. 
Barweil's profits seems to be the only purpose which 
they even professed to have in view. But your Com- 
mittee are of opinion that to preserve the reputation 
and dignity of the government of Bengal was a much 
more important object, and ought to have been their 
first consideration. The prosecution was not the pur- 
suit of mean and subordinate persons, who might 
with safety to the public interest remain in their 
seats during such an inquiry into their conduct. It 
appears very doubtful, whether, if there were grounds 
for such a prosecution, a proceeding in Great Britain 
were not more politic than one in Bengal. Such a 
prosecution ought not to have been ordered by the 
Directors, but upon grounds that would have fully 
authorized the recall of the gentleman in question. 
This prosecution, supposing it to have been seriously 
undertaken, and to have succeeded, must have tend- 
ed to weaken the government, and to degrade it in 
the eyes of all India. On the other hand, to intrust 
a man, armed as he was with all the pov\ rs of his 
station, and indeed of the government, with the con- 
duct of a prosecution against himself, was altogether 
inconsistent and absurd. The same letter in which 
they give these orders exhibits an example which sets 
the inconsistency of their conduct in a stronger light, 
becaiise the case is somewhat of a similar nature, 
but infinitely less pressing in its circumstances. Ob- 
serving that the Board of Trade had commenced a 
prosecution against Mr. William Barton, a member 
of that board, for various acts of peculation commit- 
ted by him, they say, " Y^ . must be of opinion, that, 



SLS proseeutions are actually carrying on against Mvi by 
our Board of Trade, he is, duriug such prosecution 
at least, aii improper person to hold a seat at that 
hoard; and therefore we direct that he be suspended 
from the Company's service until our further pleas- 
ure concerning him be known." The principle laid 
down in this instruction, even bjfore their own opin- 
ion concerning Mr. Barton's case was declared, and 
merely on the prosecution of others, serves to render 
their conduct not very accountable in the case of 
Mr. Barwell. Mr. Barton was in a subordinate sit- 
uation, and his remaining or not remaining in it was 
of little or no moment to the prosecution. Mr. 
Barton was but one of seven ; whereas Mr. Barwell 
was one of four, and, with the Governor-General, 
was in effect the Supreme Council. 

In the present state of power and patronage in 
India, and during the relations which are permitted 
to subsist between the judges, the prosecuting offi- 
cers, and the Council- General, yuiu Committee is 
very doubtful whether the mode of prosecuting the 
highest members in the Bengal government, before 
a court at Calcutta, could have been almost in any 
case advisable. 

It is possible that particular persons, in high ju- 
dicial and political situations, may, by force of an 
'lausual strain of virtue, be placed far above the 
influence of those circumstances which in ordinary 
cases are known to make an impression on the hu- 
man mind. But your Committee, sensible that lavsai 
and public proceedings ought to be made for gen- 
eral situations, and not for personal dispositions, are 
not inclined to have any ooufidcncc in the effect of 
criminal proceedings, where no niouis are provided 


I > 








111 , t f 

[4 ^ 



> I, I- 




for preventing a mutual connection, by dependen- 
cies, agencies, and employments, between the par- 
ties who are to prosecute and to judge and those 
who are to be prosecuted and to be tried. 

Your ( ommittee, in a former Report, have stated 
the consequences which they apprehended from the 
dependency of the judges oa the Governor-General 
and Council of Bengal ; and the House has entered 
into their ideas upon this subject. Since that time 
it appears that Sir Elijah Impey has accepted of 
the guardianship of Mr. Barwell's children, and was 
the trustee for his afiFairs. There is no law to pre- 
vent this sort of connection, and it is possible that 
it might not at all aflFect the mind of that judge, or 
(upon his account) indirectly influence the conduct 
of his brethren ; but it must forcibly affect the minds 
of those who have matter of complaint against gov- 
ernment, and whose cause the Court (f Directors 
appear to espouse, in a country where the author- 
ity of the Court of Directors has seldom been ex- 
erted but to be despised, where the operation of 
laws is but very imperfectly understood, bui where 
men are acute, sagacious, and even suspicious of 
the effect of all personal connections. Their sus- 
picions, though perhaps not rightly applied to every 
individual, will induce them to take indications from 
the situations and connections of the prosecuting par- 
ties, as well as of the judges. It cannot fail to be 
observed, that Mr. Naylor, the Company's attorney, 
lived in Mr. Barwell's house ; the late Mr. Bogle, the 
Company's commissioner of lawsuits, owed his place 
to the patronage of Mr. Hastings and Mr. BarwcU, 
by whom the office was created for him; and Sir 
John Day, the Company's advocate, who arrived in 



Bengal iu February, 1779, had not been four months 
in Calcutta, when Mr. Hastings, Mr. Barwell, and 
Sir Eyre Cootc doubled his salary, contrary to the 
opinion of Mr. Francis and Mr. Wheler. 

If the Directors are known to devolve the whole 
cognizance of the offences charged on 1 .' servants 
BC highly situated upon the Supreme ^'C ct, an ex- 
cuse will be furnished, if already it has not been fur- 
nished, to the Directors for declining the use of their 
own proper political power and authority in examin- 
ing into and animadverting on the conduct of ti .r 
servants. Tlieir true character, as strict masters and 
vigilant governors, will merge in that of prosecutors. 
Their force and enerf^y will evaporate in tedious and 
intricate prov-esses,— in lawsuits wiiich can never end, 
and which are to be carried on by the very depend- 
ants of those who are under prosecution. On their 
part, these servants will decline giving satisfaction to 
their masters, because they arr -^-eady before anoth- 
er tribunal ; and thus, by b> . responsibiliiy from 
hand to hand, a confederacy to defeat the whole fepirit 
of the law, and to remove all real restraints on their 
actions, may be in time formed between the servants, 
Directors, prosecutors, and court. Of this great dan- 
ger your Committee will take further notice in an- 
other place - 

No notice whatever appears to have been taken of 
the Co.^timfs orders in Bengal till the 11th of Jan- 
uary, 1779, when Mr. Barwell moved, that the claim 
made upon him hy the Court of Directors should be sub- 
mitted to the Company's lawyers, and that they should 
be perfectly instructed to prosecute %pon it. In his 
minute of that date he says, " that the state of his 
health had long since rendered it necessary for him to 
return to Europe." 

m a 







fii ( 







Your Coramitteo observe that he continued in Ben- 
gal another year. He says, " that he had hitherto 
waited for the arrival of Sir John Day, tlie Com- 
pany's advocate ; but as the season was now far 
advanced, he wished to bring the trial speedily to 

In this minute he retracts his original engagement 
to submit himself to the judgment of the Court of 
Directors, " and to account to them for the last shil- 
I'lif? he had received" : he says, " that no merit had 
been given him for tlie offer ; that a most unjustifi- 
able advantage had been attempted to be made of it, 
by first declining it and descending to abuse, and then 
giving orders upon it as if it had been rejected, when 
called upon by him in the person of his agent to 
bring home the charge of delinquency." 

Mr. Barwell's reflections on the proceedings of the 
Court of Directors are not altogether clearly ex- 
pressed ; nor does it appear distinctly to what facts 
he alludes. He asserts that a most unjustifiable ad- 
vantage had been attempted to be made of his offer. 
The fact is, the Court of Directors have nowhere de- 
clined accepting it ; on the contrary, they caution the 
Governor-General and Council about the manner of 
receiving the tender of the money which they expect 
him to make. They say nothing of any call made on 
them by Mr. Harwell's agent in England ; nor does 
it appear to your Committee that they " have de- 
scended to abuse." They have a right, and it is 
their duty, to express, in distinct and appropriated 
terms, their sense of all blamable conduct in their 

So far as may be collected from the evidence of 
the Company's records, Mr. Barwell's assertions do 





not appear well Bupportcd; but even if they were 
more plausible, your Committee apprehend that he 
could not be discharged from his solemn recorded 
promise to abide by the judgment of the Court of 
Directors. Their judgment was declared by their 
resolution to prosecute, which it depended upon him- 
self to satisfy by making good his engagement. To 
excuse his not cor^plying with the Company's claims, 
he says, " that his compliance would be uryed as a 
feision of delinquency, and to proceed from convictio 
of his having usurped on the rights of the Company. ' 
Considerations of this nature might properly have 
induced Mr, Harwell to stand upon his right in the 
first instance, "and to appeal" (to use his own 
words) " to the laws of his country, in order to vindi- 
cate his fame." But his performance could not have 
more weight to infer delinquency than his promise. 
Your Committee think his observation comes too 


If he had stood a trial, when he first acknowledged 
the facts, and submitted himself to the judgment of 
the Court of Directors, the suit would have been 
carried on under the direction of General Clavering, 
Colonel Monson, and Mr. Francis; whereas in the 
year 1779 his influence at the board gave him the 
conduct of it himself. In an interval of four years 
it may be presumed that great alterations might have 
happened in the state of the evidence against him. 

In the subsequent proceedings of the Governor- 
General and Council the House will find that Mr. 
Barwell complained that his instances for carrying 
on the prosecution were ineffectual owing to the 
legal difficulties and delays urged by the Company's 
law officers, which your Committee do not find have 







1 , 



yot been removed. As* far as the latest advicet 
reacli, no progrcsb ippears to have baeu made in 
the business. lu July, 1782, the Court of Directors 
fouud it necessary to order an account of all suits 
against Europeans depending in Supreme Court 
of Judicature to be transmitted to them, and that 
no time should be lost in bringing them to a de- 


The next article of direct monopoly subserrieut to 
the Company's export is saltpetre. This, as well as 
opium, is far the greater part the produce of the prov- 
ince of Bahar. The difference between the man- 
agement and destination of tiie two articles has been 
this. Until the year 1782, the opium has been sold 
in the country, and the produce of the sale laid out 
in country merchandise for the Company's export. 
A great part of the saltpetre is sent out in kind, and 
never has contributed to the interior circulation and 
commerce of Bengal. It is managed by agency ou 
the Company's account. The price paid to tlie man- 
ufacturer is invariable. Some of the larger under- 
takers receive advances to enable them to prosecute 
their work ; but as ihey are not always equally care- 
ful or fortunate, it happens that large balances accu- 
mulate against them. Orders have been sent from 
Calcutta from time to time to recover their balances, 
with little or no success, but with great vexation to all 
concerned in the manufacture. Sometimes they have 
imprisoned the failing; contractors in their own houses, 
— a severity which answers no useful purpose. Such 
persons are so many hands detached from the im- 





provement and addetl to tho burden of the country. 
They are porsons of skill drawn from tho future supply 
of that monopoly in favor of which they are prosecut- 
ed. In case of the death of the debtor, this rigorous 
demand falls upon the ruined houses of widows and 
orphans, and may be easily converted into a means 
either of cruel oppression or a mercenary indulgence, 
according to tho temper of the exactors. Instead of 
thus having recourse to imprisonment, the old balanco 
is sometimes doducted from the current produce. 
This, in these circumstances, is a grievous discourage- 
ment. People must be discouraged from entering in- 
to a business, when, the commodity being fixed to one 
invariable standard and confined to one market, tho 
best success can be attended only with a limited uJ • 
vantage, whilst a defective produce can never be com- 
pensated by an augmented price. Accordingly, very 
little of these advances has been recovered, and after 
much vexation the pursuit has generally been aban- 
doned. It is plain that there can be no life and vigor 
i: any business under a monopoly so constituted ; nor 
can the true productive resources of the cout.try, in 
so large i i article of its commerce, ever come to bo 
fully known. 

The supply for the Company's demand in England 
has rarely fallen short of two thousand tons, uor much 
exceeded two thousand five hundred. A discretiona- 
ry allowance of this commodity has been made to tho 
French, Dutch, and Danes, who purchase their allot- 
ted shares at some small advance on the Company's 
price. The supply destined for Uie London market 
is proportioned to the spare tonnage ; and to accom- 
modate that tonnage, the saltpetre is sometimes sent 
to Madras and sometimes even to Bombay, and that 

't^ li 



I * 1 


k 'i 

t ■ 

li r 


' I ■ 



not uii frequently in rosseli ezpreHsly employed for the 

Mr. Law, Chief of Patna, being examined on the 
effect of that monopoly, delivered hia opinion, that 
with regard to the Company's trade the monopoly yran 
advantageous, but as sovereigns of the country they 
must be losers by it. Those two capacities in the 
Company are found in perpetual contradiction. But 
much doubt may arise whether this monopoly will be 
found advantageous to the Company either in the one 
capacity or the other. The gross commodity moiiop- 
ulized for sale in London is procured from the reve- 
nues in Bengal ; the certain is given for the hazard- 
ous. The loss of interest on the advances, some- 
times the loss of the principal, — the expense of car- 
riage from Patna to Calcutta, — the various loadings 
and unloadings, and insurance (which, though borne 
by ti"- -mpany, is still insurance), — the engage- 
luent lor the Ordnance, limited in pricu, and irregu- 
lar in payment, — the charge of agency and manage- 
ment, through all its gradations and successions, — 
when all these are taken into consideration, it may be 
found that the gain of the Company as traders wiU be 
far from compensating their loss as sovereigns. A 
body like the East Lidia Company can scarcely, in any 
circumstance, hope to carry on the details of such a 
business, from its commencement to its conclusion, 
with any degree of success. In the subjoined estimate 
of profit and loss, the value of the commodity is stated 
at its invoice price at Calcutta. But this affords no 
just estimate of the whole effect of a dealing, w'.v-iC 
the Company's charge commences in the first rudi- 
ments of the manufacture, and not at the purchase 
at the place of sale and valuation : for they [tliere ? ] 






maj 1k) heavy Iosscb on tbo value at which the saltpe- 
tre is estimated, when shipped off on their account, 
witliout any appearance in the ace nint ; and tlie in- 
quiries of your Committee to find the charges on tho 
saltpetre previous to the shipping have boon fruitless. 


The otlier link by hich India bo-nd to Groat 
Britain is the govornniont establish there originally 
by the auihority of the Eait In'Ha Oompany, and af- 
terwards modified by Parli:...ieut by tho acts of 1773 
and 1780. Tl ■-. system *, ;.overnmont appears to 
your Comraitte' . bo at le- 3t as much disordered, 
and as much perverted from every good purpose for 
which lawful rule is established, as the trading sys- 
tem has been from every just principle of commerce. 
Your Committee, in tracing the causes of this dis- 
order through its effects, have first considered the 
government as it is constituted and managed within 
itself, beginning with its most essential and funda- 
mental part, tho order and discipline by which the su- 
preme authority of this kingdom is maintained. 

The British govornme u in India being a subordi- 
r md delegated power, it ought to be considered 
as fundamental principle in tucb a system, that it 
is to be preserved in the strictest obedience to the 
government at home. Administration in India, at 
an immense distance from tho seat of the supreme 
authority, — intrusted with tho most extensive pow- 
ers,— liable to the greatest temptations, — possess- 
ing the amplest means of abuse, — ruling over a 
people guarded by no d..:inct or well-ascertained 









'. / 



privileges, whose language, manners, and radical pre- 
judices render not only redress, but all complaint on 
their part, a matter of extreme difficulty, — such an 
administration, it is evident, never can be made sub- 
servient to the interests of Great Britain, or even tol- 
erable to the natives, but by the strictest rigor in ex- 
acting obedience to the commands of the authority 
lawfully set over it. 

But your Committee find that this principle has 
been for some years very little attended to. Before 
the passing the act of 1773, the professed purpose of 
which was to secure a better subordination in the 
Company's servants, such was the firmness with 
which the Court of Directors maintained their au- 
thority, that they displaced Governor Cartier, con- 
fessedly a meritorious servant, for disobedience of 
orders, although his case was not a great deal more 
than a question by whom the orders were to be 
obeyed.* Yet the Directors were so sensible of the 
necessity of a punctual and literal c jedience, that, 
conceiving their orders went to the parties who were 
to obey, as well as to the act to be done, they pro- 
ceeded with a strictness that, in all cases except that 
of their peculiar government, might well be consid- 
ered as rigorous. But in proportion as the necessity 
of enforcing obedience grew stronger and more ur- 
gent, and in proportion to the magnitude and im- 
portance of the objects affected by disobedience, this 
rigor has been relaxed. Acts of disobedience have 
not only grown frequent, but systematic ; and they 
have appeared in such instances, and are manifested 
in such a manner, as to amount, in the Company's 

• Vide Committee's Fifth Report, page 21, and Appendix to that 
Keport, No. 12. 



servants, to little less than absolute independence, 
against which, on the part of the Directors, there is 
no struggle, and hardly so much as a protest to pre- 
Berre a claim. 

Before your Committee proceed to offer to the 
House their remarks on the most distinguished of 
these instances, the particulars of whicli they have 
already reported, they deem it necessary to enter 
into some detail of a transaction equally extraordi- 
nary and important, though not yet brought into tlie 
view of Parliament, which appears to have laid the 
foundation of the principal abuses that ensued, as 
well as to have given strength and encouragement 
to those that existed. To this transaction, and to 
the conclusions naturally deducible from it, your 
Committee attribute that general spirit of disobe- 
dience and independence which has since prevailed 
in the government of Bengal. 

Your Committee find that in the year 1775 Mr. 
Lauchlan Macleaue was sent into England as agent 
to the Nabob of Arcot and to Mr. Hastings. The 
conduct of Mr. Hastings, in assisting to extirpate, for 
a sum of money to be paid to the Company, the inno- 
cent nation of the Rohillas, had drawn upon him the 
censure of the Court of Directors, and the unanimous 
censure of the Court of Proprietors. The former had 
even resolved to prepare an application to his Majesty 
for Mr. Hastings's dismission. 

Another General Court was called on this proceed- 
ing. Mr. Hastings was then openly supported by a 
majority of the Court of Proprietors, who professed 
to entertain a good opinion of his general ability 
and rectitude of intention, notwithstanding the unan- 
imous censure passed upon him. In that censure 

I •' 

V Ji 







m i 




they therefore seemed disposed to acquiesce, without 
pushing the matter farther. But, as the offence was 
far from trifling, and the condemnation of the meas- 
ure recent, tliey did not directly attack the resolu- 
tion of the Directors to apply to his Majesty, but 
voted in the ballot that it should be reconsidered. 
The business therefore remained in suspense, or it 
rather seemed to be dropped, for some months, when 
Mr. Macleane took a step of a nature not in the least 
to be expected from the condition in which the 
cause of his principal stood, which was apparently as 
favorable as the circumstances could bear. Hitherto 
the support of Mr. Hastings in the General Court 
was only by a majority ; but if on application from 
the Directors he should be removed, a mere majority 
would not have been sufficient for his restoration. 
The door would have been barred against his return 
to the Company's service by one of the strongest and 
most substantial clauses in the R' xulating Act of 
1773. Mr. Macleane, probably to p. event the mani- 
fest ill consequences of such a step, came forward 
with a letter to the Court of Directors, declaring his 
provisional powers, and offering on the part of Mr. 
Hastings an immediate resignation of his office. 

On this occasion the Directors showed themselves 
extremely punctilious with regard to Mr. Macleane's 
powers. They probably dreaded the charge of be- 
coming accomplices to an evasion of the act by 
which Mr. Hastings, resigning the service, would 
escape the consequences attached by law to a dis- 
mission ; they therefore demanded Mr. Macleane's 
written authority. This he declared he could not 
give into their hands, as the letter contained other 
matters, of a nature extremely confidential, bui that, 



if they would appoint a committee of the Directors, 
he would readily communicate to them the necessary 
parts of the letter, and give them perfect satisfac- 
tion with regard to his authority. A deputation was 
accordingly named, who reported that they had seen 
Mr. Hastings's instructions, contained in a paper in 
his own handwriting, and that the authority for the 
act now done by Mr. Macleane was clear and suf- 
ficient. Mr. Vansittart, a very particular friend of 
Mr. Hastings, and Mr. John Stewart, his most at- 
tached and confidential dependant, attended on this 
occasion, and proved that directions perfectly corres- 
pondent to this written authority had been given by 
Mr. Hastings in their presence. By this means the 
powers were fully authenticated ; but the letter re- 
mained safe in Mr. Macleane's hands. 

Nothing being now wanting to the satisfaction of 
the Directors, the resignation was formally accepted. 
Mr. Wheler was named to fill the vacancy, and pre- 
sented for his Majesty's approbation, which was re- 
ceived. The act was complete, and the office that 
Mr. Hastings had resigned was legally filled. This 
pioceeding was officially notified in Bengal, and Gen- 
eral Clavering, as senior in Council, was in course 
to succeed to the office of Governor-General. 

Mr. Hastings, to extricate himself from the diffi- 
culties into which this resignation had brought him, 
had recourse to one of those unlooked-for and hardy 
measures which characterize the whole of his ad- 
ministration. He came to a resolution of disown- 
ing his agent, denying his letter, and disavowing his 
friends. He insisted on continuing in the execution 
of his office, and supported himself by such reasons 
as could be furnished in such a cause. An open 








schism instantly divided the Council. General Clav- 
ering claimed the office to which he ought to suc- 
ceed, and Mr. Francis adhered to him : Mr. Barwell 
stuck to Mr. Hastings. The two parties assembled 
separately, and everything was running fast into a 
confusion which suspended government, and might 
very probably have ended in a civil war, had not the 
judges of the Supreme Court, on a reference to them, 
settled the controversy by deciding that the resigna- 
tion was an invalid act, and that Mr. Hastings was 
still in the legal possession of his place, which had 
been actually filled up in England. It was extraor- 
dinary that the nullity of this resignation should not 
have been discovered in England, where the act au- 
thorizing the resignation then was, where the agent 
was personally present, where the witnesses were ex- 
amined, and where there was and could be no want 
of legal advice, either on the part of the Company 
or of the crown. The judges took no light matter 
upon them in superseding, and thereby condenming 
the legality of his Majesty's appointment : for such it 
became by the royal approbation. 

On this determination, such as it was, the division 
in the meeting, but not in the minds of the Council, 
ceased. (Jeneral Clavering uniformly opposed the 
conduct of Mr. Hastings to the end of his life. But 
Mr. Hastings showed more temper under much great- 
er provocations. In disclaiming his agent, and in ef- 
fect accusing him of an imposture the most deep- 
ly injurious to his character and fortune, and of the 
grossest forgery to support it, he was so very mild 
and indulgent as not to show any active resentment 
against his unfaithful agent, nor to complain to the 
Court of Directors. '^* was expected in Bengal that 



some strong measures woul have imraediatoly been 
taken to preserve the just righis of the king and of 
the Court of Directors ; as this proceeding, unac- 
companied with tho severest animadversion, mauiiest- 
ly struck a decisive blow at the existence of the most 
essential powers of both. But your Committee do 
not find that any measures whatever, such as the ca^e 
seemed to demand, were taken. The observations 
made by the Court of Directors on what they call 
" these extraordiaary transactions " are just and well 
applied. They conclude with a declaration, " that the 
measures whic^ it migH he necessary for them to take, 
in order to retrieve the honor of the Company, and to 
prevent the like abuse from being practised in future, 
should have their most serious and earliest considera- 
tion " ; and with this declaration they appear to have 
closed the account, and to have dismissed the subject 

A sanction was hereby given to all future defiance 
of every autho.ity in this kingdom. Several other 
matters of complaint against Mr. Hastings, particular- 
ly the charge of peculation, fell to the ground at the 
same time. Opinions of counsel had been taken rel- 
ative to a prosecution at law upon this charge, frou» 
the then Attorney and the then Solicitor-General and 
Mr, Dunning, (now the Lords Thurlow, Loughbor- 
ough, and Ashburton,) together with Mr. Adair (nj-v 
Recorder of London). None of them gave a positive 
opinion against the grounds of the \ secution. The 
Attorney-General doi'btou en the prudenc. of the pro- 
ceedings, and censured (as it well deserved) the ill 
statement of the case. Tliree of them, Mr. Wedder- 
burn, Mr. Dunning, and Mr. Adair, were clear in fa- 
vor of the prosecution. No prosecution, however, was 



tli ■ |1 



Il . 


had, and the Directors '• itonted themselves with cen- 
suring and admonishing Mr. Hastings. 

With regard to the Supreme Council, the members 
who chose (for it was choice only) to attend to the 
orders which were issued from the languishing au- 
thority of the Directors continued to receive unprof- 
itable applauses and no support. Their correspond- 
ence was always filled with complaints, the justice of 
which was always admitted by the Court of Directors ; 
but this admission of the existence of the evil showed 
only the impotence of those who were to administer 
the remedy. The authority of the Court of Directors, 
resisted with success in so capital an instance as that 
of the resignation, was not likely to be respected in 
any other. What influence it really had on the con- 
duct of the Company's servants may be collected ^rom 
the facts that followed it. 

The disobedience of Mr. Hastings has of late not 
only become uniform and systematical in practice, 
but has been in principle, also, supported by him, and 
by Mr. Barwell, late a member of the Supreme Coun- 
cil in Bengal, and now a member of this House. 

In the Consultation of the 20th of July, 1778, Mr. 
Barwell gives it as his solemn and deliberate opinion, 
that, " while Mr. Hastings is in the government, the 
respect and dignity of his station should be supported. 
In these sentiments, I must decline an acquiescence 
in any order which has a tendency to bring the gov- 
ernment into disrepute. As the Company ha^a the 
means and power of forming their own administration 
in India, they may at pleasure place whom they please 
at the head ; but in my opinion they are not author- 
ized to treat a person in that post with indignity." 

By treating them with indignity (in the particular 




cases wherein they have declined obedience to orders) 
they must mean those orders which imply a censure 
on any part of their conduct, a reversal of any of their 
proceudings, or, as Mi . Barwell expresses himself in 
words very significant, in any orders that have a teiir 
dency to bring their government into disrepute. The 
amplitude of * As latter description, eserving to them 
the judgment of any orders which have so much as 
that tendency, puts them in possession of a complete 
independence, an inde^ndonce including a despotic 
authority over the subordinates and the country. The 
very means taken by the Directors for enforcing their 
authority becomes, on this principle, a cause of fur- 
ther disobedience. It is observable, that their prin- 
ciples of disobedience do not refer to any local cou- 
•^^ Werttion, overlooked by the Directors, which might 
supteitfcde their orders, or to any change of circum- 
(tances, which might render another course advisable, 
or'«r«ii} perhaps necessary, — but it relates solely to 
their own interior feeliiigs in matters relative to them- 
selves, and their opinion of their own dignity and rep- 
utation. It is plain that they have wholly forgotten 
who they are, and what the nature of their office is. 
Mr. Hastings and Mr. Barwell are servants of the 
Company, and as such, by the duty inherent in that 
relation, as well as by their special covenants, were 
obliged to yield obedience to the orders of their mas- 
ters. They have, as far as they were able, cancelled 
all tl^ Itonds of this relation, and all the sanctions of 
these covenants. 

But in thus throwing off the authority of the Court 
of Directors, Mr. Hastings and Mo Barwell have 
thrown off the authority of the whole legislative pow- 
er of Great Britain ; for, by the Regulating Act of the 











thirteenth of his Mcjesty, thoy are expressly " direct- 
ed and required to pay due obedience to all such or 
ders as they shall receive from the Court of D-'-ectors 
of the said United Company." Such is the declara- 
tion of the law. But Mr. Barwell declares that he 
declines obedience to any orders which he shall inter- 
pret to be indignities on a Governor-General. To the 
clear injunctions of the legislature Mr. Hastings and 
Mr. Barwell have thought proper to oppose their pre- 
tended reputation and dignity ; as if the chief honor 
of public ministers in every situation was not to yield 
a cheerful obedience to the laws of their country. 
Your Committee, to render evident to tliis House tie 
general nature and tendency of this pretended dig- 
nity, and to illustrate the real principles upon which 
they appear to have acted, think it necess&rj ^mmjui^ 
observations on three or four of the cases, al^|^e- 
ported, of marked disobedience to particular an^D|r 
cial orders, on one of which the above extrao^^Ry 
doctrine was maintained. 

These are the cases of Mr. Fowke, Mr. Bristow, and 
Mahomed Reza Khfin. In a few weeks after the death 
of Colonel Monson, Mr. Hastings having obtained a 
majority in Council by his casting vote, Mr. Fowke 
and Mr. Bristow were called i^om their respect e ofi 
fices of Residents at Benares and Oude, places which 
have become the scenes of other extraordinary opera- 
tions under the conduct of Mr. Hastings in person. 
For the recall of Mr. Bristow no reason was argued. 
The reason assigned for the proceeding wit^rcgard 
to Mr. Fowke was, that " the purposes for which he 
was appointed were then fully accomplished." 

An account of the removal of Mr. Fowke was com- 
mimicated to the Court of Directors in a letter of the 





22d of December, :i776. On this notification the 
Court had nothing to conclude, but that Mr. da»t- 
ings, from a rigid pursuit of economy in the manage- 
ment of the Company's affairs, had recalled a useless 
officer. But, without alleging any variation whatso- 
ever in the circumstances, in less than twenty days 
after the order for the recall of Mr. Fowke, and 
the very day after the dispatch containing an account 
of the transaction, Mr. Hastings recommended Mr. 
Graham to this very office, the end of which, he 
declared to the Directors but the day before, had 
been fully accomplished ; and not thinking this suffi- 
cient, ho appointed Mr. D. Harwell as his assistant, 
at a salary of about four hundred pounds a year. 
Against this extraordinary act General Clavering and 
Mr. Francis entered a protest. 

So early as the 6th of the following January the 
appointment of these gentlemen was communicated 
in a letter to the Court of Directors, without any 
sort of color, apology, or explanation. Tliat court 
found a servant removed from his station without 
complaint, contrary to the tenor of one of their stand- 
ing injunctions. They allow, however, and with rea- 
son, that, " if it were possible to suppose that a sav- 
ing Ac, had been his motive, they would have ap- 
proved his proceeding. But that when immediately 
afterwards two persons, with two salaries, had been 
appointed to execute the office which had been filled 
with reputation by Mr. Fowke alone, and that Mr. 
Graham enjoys all the emoluments annexed to the 
office of Mr. Fowke," — they properly conclude that 
Mr. Fowke was removed without just cause, to make 
way for Mr. Graham, and strictly enjoin that the for- 
mer be reinstated in his office of Resident as Post- 


' 11 ii> 1 



• A 


- li 

'■a ! 

if ^ i ■ 




master of Bonarod. In the same letter they assort 
their rights in a tone of becoming firmness, and de- 
clare, tliat " on no account we can permit our orders 
to be disobeyed or our authority disregarded." 

It was now to be seen which of the parties was to 
give way. The orders were clear and precise, and 
enforced by a strong declaration of the resolution of 
the Court to make itself obeyed. Mr. Hastings fair- 
ly joined issue upon this point with his masters, 
and, having disobeyed the general instructions of the 
Company, determined to pay no obedience to their 
special order. 

On the 2l8t Jul", 1778, he moved, and succeeded 
in his proposition, that the execution of these or- 
ders should be suspended. The reason he assigned 
for this suspension lets in great light upon the true 
character of all these proceedings: "That his con- 
sent to the recall of Mr. Graham would be adequate 
to his own resignation of the service, as it would in- 
flict such a wound on his authority and influence that 
he could not maintain it." 

If tliat had been hia opinion, he ought to have re- 
signed, and not disobeyed : because it was not neces- 
sary that he should hold his office; but it was ne- 
cessary, that, whilst he held it, he should obey his 
superiors, and submit to the law. Much more truly 
was his conduct a virtual resignation of his lawful 
office, and at the same time an usurpation of a situa- 
tion which did not belong to him, to hold a subordi- 
nate office, and to refuse to act according to its du- 
ties. Had his authority been self-originated, it would 
have been wounded by his submission ; but in this 
case the true nature of his aiithority was affirmed, 
uut injured, by his obedience, because ii was a power 

^r V' 




derived from others, and, by its essence, to be exe- 
cuted according to their directions. 

lu this determined disobedience he was supported 
by Mr. Rarwell, who on that occasion delivered the 
dangerous doctrine to which your Committee have 
lately adverted. Mr. Fowke, wlio had a -aost mate- 
rial interest in this determination, applied l>y letter 
to be informed concerning it. An answer was sent, 
acquainting him coldly, and without any reason as 
signed, of what had been resolved relative to his of- 
fice. This communication was soon followed by an- 
other letter from Mr. Fowkc, with great submission 
and remarkable decency asserting his right to his 
office under the authority of the Court of Directors, 
and for solid reasons, grounded on the Company's 
express orders, praying U> be informed of the charge 
against him. This letter appears to have been re- 
ceived by Mr. Hastings and Mr. Barwell very lof- 
tily. Mr. Hastings said, "that such applications 
were irregular ; that they are not accountable to Mr. 
Fowke for their resolution respecting him. The rea- 
sons for suspending the execution of the orders of 
the Court of Directors contain m charge, rwr the 
tlightest imputation <^ a charge, against Mr. Fowke ; 
hut I tee no reason why the board should conde»cmd 
to Ull him «o." AccoH'MEly, the proposition of Mr. 
Francis and Mr. W inform Mr. Fowke " that 

they had no reason -^ dissatisfied with his con- 
duct," on the previous question was rejected. 

By this resolution Mr. Hastings and Mr. Barweli 
discovered another principle, and no lesb ; .ugerous 
than the first : namely, that persons deriving a valu- 
able interest under the Company's orders, so far 
from being heard in favor of their right, are not bo 

* in 







* i4 ' , 





■'f n 





much as to be iiiformod of the grounds on which they 
are deprived of it. 

The arrival soon after of Sir Eyre Coote giving 
aiiotlior opportunity of trial, the quesliou for obedi- 
ence to the Company's orders was again • broug! on 
by Mr. Francis, and again received a negative. Sir 
Eyre Cooto, though present, and declaring, that, had 
he been at the original consultation, he should have 
V' ^^d for the immediate execution of the Company's 
orders, yet he was resolved to avoid what he called 
any kind of retrospect. His neutrality gained the 
question in favor of this, the third resolution for 
disobedience to orders. 

The resolution in Bengal being thus decisively tak- 
en, it came to the turn of the Court of Directors to 
act their part. They did act their part exactly in 
thfir old manner: they had recourse to thoir old 
remedy of repeating orders which had been diso- 
beyed. Tiie Directors declare to Mr. Hastings and 
Mr. Barwell, though without any apparent reason, 
that " they have read with attonishmmt their formal 
resolution to suspend the execution of their orders ; 
that they shall take such measures as appear neces- 
sary ioT preserving the authority of the Court of Direc- 
tors, and for preventing such instances of direct and 
wilful disobedience in their servants in time to come." 
They then renew their directions concerning Mr. 
Fowke. The event of this sole measure taken to 
preserve their authority, and to prevent instances 
of direct and wilful disobedience, your Committee 
will state in its proper place, — taking into considera- 
tion, for the present, the proceedings relative to Mr. 
Bristow, and to Mahomed Reza Kh&n, which were 

• Itt and Cth April, 1779. 








altogether in the same spirit ; but as they were di- 
verttified in the circumstances of disobodionco, as well 
from the case of Mr. Fowke as from one another, and 
as these circumstances tend to discover other dan- 
gerous principles of abuse, 'nd the general prostrate 
condition of the authority of Parliament in Bengal, 
your Committee procoed fir»t to make some observa- 
tions upon them. 

The province of Oudo, enlarged by the accession of 
several extensive and once flourishing territories, that 
is, by tlic country of tho Rohillas. the district of Co- 
rah and Allahabad, and other pr inces betwixt the 
Ganges and Jumna, ia under tlie nominal dominion 
of one of the princes of the fouutry, called Asoph ul 
Dowlah. But a body of English troops is kept up 
in his country ; and tho greatest part of his revenues 
are, by one uescription or another, substantially un- 
der the administration of English subjects. Ho is to 
all purposes a dependent prince. Tho person to be 
employed in his dominions to act for the Committee 
[Company ?] was therefore of little consequence in 
his capacity of negotiator ; but hs was vested with 
a trust, great anrt critical, in all pecuniary affairs. 
These provinces of dependence lie out of the system 
of the Company's ordinary administration, and trans- 
actions there cannot be so readily brought under the 
cognizance of the Court of Directors. This renders 
it the more necessary that the Residents in such 
places should be persons not disapproved of by the 
Court of Directors. They are to manage a perma- 
nent interest, which is not, like a matter of political 
negotiation, variable, and which, from circumstances, 
might possibly excuse some degree of discretionary 
latitude m construing their orders. During tho life- 


I ( 



J ..-1 '" 


^^' fj 


4-- 1 


i /J 

time of General Clavering and Colonel Monson, Mr. 
Bristow was appointed to this Presidency, and that 
appointment, being approved and confirmed bj the 
Court of Directors, became in effect tlieir own. Mr. 
Bristow appears to have shown himself a man of tal- 
ents and activity. He had been principally concerned 
in the negotiations by which the Company's interest 
in the higher provinces had been established; and 
those services were considered by the Presidency of 
Calcutta as so meritorious, that they voted him ten 
thousand pounds as a reward, with many expressions 
of esteem and honor. 

Mr. Bristow, however, was recalled by Mr. Hast- 
ings and Mr. Barwell, who had then acquired the ma- 
jority, without any complaint having been assigned 
as the cause of his removal, and Mr. Middleton was 
sent in his stead to reside at the capital of Oude. 
The Court of Directors, as soon as they could be ap- 
prised of this extraordinary step, in their letter of 
the 4th of July, 1777, express their strongest disap- 
probation of it : they order Mr. Middleton to be re- 
called, and Mr. Bristow to be reinstated in his oflBce. 
In December, 1778, they repeat their order. Of these 
repeated orders no notice was taken. Mr. Bristow, 
fatigued with unsuccessful private applications, which 
met with a constant refusal, did at length, on the 1st 
of May, 1780, address a letter to the board, making 
his claim of right, entitling himself to his offices [of- 
fice ?] under the authority of the Court of Directors, 
and complaining of the hardships which he suffered 
by the delay in admitting him to the exercise of it. 
This letter your Committee have inserted at large in 
the Fifth Report, having found nothing whatsoever 
exceptionable in it, although it seems to have excit- 
ed the warmest resentment in Mr. Hastings. 






This claim of the party gave r.o new force to the 
order of the Directors, which remained without any 
attention from the board from Mr. Bristow's arrival 
until the 1st of May, and with as little from the 1st 
of May to the 2nd of October following. On that 
day, Mr. Francis, after having caused the repeated 
orders of the Court of Directors to be first read, 
moved that Mr. Bristow should be reinstated in his 
office. This motion, in itself just and proper in the 
highest degree, and ir which no fault could be found, 
but that it was not made more early, was received by 
Mr. Hastings with the greatest marks of resentment 
and indignation. He declares in his minute, that, 
" were the most determined adversary of the British 
nation to possess, by whatever means, a share in the 
administration, he could not devise a measure in it- 
self so pernicious, or time it so effectually for the 
ruin of the British interests in India." Then turn- 
ing to the object of the motion, he says, " I will ask, 
Who is Mr. Bristow, that a member of the adminis- 
tration should, at such a time, hold him forth as an 
instrument for the degradation of the first executive 
member of this government f What are the professed 
objects of his appointment? What are the merits 
and services, or what the qualificailons, which enti- 
tle him to such uncommon distinction ? Is it for his 
superior integrity, or from his eminent abilities, that he 
is to be dignified at such hazard of every considera- 
tion that ought to influence the members of this ad- 
ministration ? Of the former (his integrity) I know 
jw proofs ; I am sure it is not an evidence of it, that 
he has been enabled to make liimself the principal in 
such a competition : and for the test of his abilities I 
appeal to the letter which he has dared to write to 



''' B 

- m 

■ 'i 'I 



this board, and which I am ashamed to say we have 
tuffe/cd. I desire that a copy of it may be inserted 
in this day's proceedings, that it may stand before the 
eyes of every member of the board, when he shall 
give his vote upon a question for giving their con- 
fidence to a man, their servant, who has publicly 
insulted them, his masters, and the members of the 
government to whom he owes his obedience, — who, 
assuming an association with the Court of Directors, 
and erecting himself into a trihinal, has arraigned 
them for disobedience of orders, passed Judgment upon 
them, and condemned or acquitted them, as their magis- 
trate or superior. Let the board consider, whether 
a man possessed of so .adependent a spirit, who has 
already shown a contempt of their authority, who has 
shown himself so wretched an advocate for his ovm 
cause and negotiator for his ovm interest, is fit to be 
trusted with the guardianship of their honor, the ex- 
ecution of their measures, and as their confidential 
manager and negotiator with the princes of India. 
As the motion has been unaccompanied by any rea- 
sons which should induce the board to pass their 
acquiescence in it, I presume the motion which pre- 
ceded it, for reading the orders of the Court of Direc- 
tors, was intended to serve as an argument for it, as 
well as an introduction to it. The last of those was 
dictated the 23rd December, 1778, almost two years 
past. They were dictated at a time when, I am sorry 
to say, the Court of Directors were in the habit of 
casting reproach upon my conduct and heaping indigni- 
ties upon my station." 

Had the language and opinions which prevail 
throughout this part of the minute, as well as in 
all the others to which your Committee refer, been 

If .; , ; 1 

. ;- I 

h ■■ U 




uttered suddenly and in a passion, however unpro- 
voked, some sort of apology might be made for tho 
Governor-General. But when it was produced five 
months after the supposed oifence, and then deliv- 
ered in writing, which always implies the power of 
a greater degree of recollection and self-command, 
it shows how deeply the piinciples of disobedience 
had taken root in his mind, and of an assumption 
to himself of exorbitant powers, which he chooses 
to distinguish by tht title of " his prerogative" In 
this also will bo found an obscure hint of the cause 
of his disobedience, which your Committee conceive 
to allude to the main cause of the disorders in tho 
government of India, — naraei- ; an underhand com- 
munication with Europe. 

Mr. Hastings, by his confidence in tho support 
derived from this source, or from the habits of in- 
dependent power, is carried to such a '-ingth as to 
consider a motion to obey the Court of Directors 
as a degradation of the executive government in 
his person. He looks upon a claim under that au- 
thority, and a complaint that it has produced no 
efiect, as a piece of daring insolence which he is 
ashamed that the board has suffered. The behavior 
which your Committee consider as so intemperate 
and despotic he regards as a culpable degree of 
patience and forbearance. Major Scott, his agent, 
enters so much into the principles of Mr. Hastings's 
conduct as to tell your Committee that in his opinion 
Lord Clive would have sent home Mr. Bristow a pris- 
oner upon such an occasion. It is worthy of remark, 
that, in the very same breath that Mr. Hastings so 
heavily condemns a junior officer in the Company's 
service (not a servant of the Council, as in. hazards 



i'. • 



£1 1 

1 P' 

A ■ !, 

to call him, but their fellow-seriant') for merely com- 
plaining of a supposed injury and requiring redress, 
he so far forgets his own subordination as to reject 
the orders of the Court of Directors even as c . argu- 
ment in favor of appointing a person to an office, to 
presume to censure his undoubted masters, and to 
accuse them of having been " in a habit of casting 
reproaches upon him, and heaping indignities on his 
station." And it is to be observed, that this censure 
was not for the purpose of seeking or obtaining re- 
dress for any injury, but appeared rather as a reason 
for refusing to obey their lawful commands. It is 
plainly implied iu that minute, that no servant of thu 
Company, in Mr. Bristow's rank, would dare to act 
iu such a manner, if he had not by indirect means 
obtained a premature fortune. This alone is suffi- 
cient to show the situation of the Company's servants 
in the subordinate situations, when the mere claim 
of a right, derived from the sovereign legal power, 
becomes fatal not only to the objects which they 
pursue, but deeply wounds that reputation both fur 
ability and integrity by which alone they are to be 
qualified for any other. 

If anything could add to the disagreeable situation 
of those who are submitted to an autliority conducted 
on such principles, it is this: The Company has or- 
dered that no complaint shall be made in Europe 
against any of the Council without being previously 
communicated to them: a regulation formed upon 
grave reasons ; and it was certainly made in favor 
of that board. But if a person, having ground of 
complaint against the Council, by making use of the 
mode prescribed in favor of tliat very Council, and by 
complaining to themselves, commits an ofifence for 



which he may bo justly punished, the Directors have 
not regulated the mode of complaint, they have ac- 
tually forbidden it ; they have, on that supposition, 
renounced their authority ; and the whole system of 
their oflRcers is delivered over to the arbitrary will 
of a few of their chief servants. 

During the whole day of that deliberation things 
wore a decided face. Mr. Hastings stood to his 
principles in their full extent, and seemed resolved 
upon unqualified disobedience. But as tiio dcl^ato 
was adjourned to the day following, time was given 
for expedients ; and such an expedient was hit upon 
by Mr. Hastings as will, no doubt, be unexpected by 
tlie House ; but it serves to throw new lights upon 
the motives of all L^ struggles with the authority 
of the legislature. 

Tlie next day tl incil met upon the adjourn- 

men , Then Mr. ii .stings proposed, as a compro- 
mise, a division of the object in question. One half 
was to be surrendered to the authority of the Court 
of Directors, the other was reserved for ..L dignity. 
But tlie choice ho made of his own share in this par- 
tition is very worthy of notice. He had taken his sole 
ground of objection against Mr. Bristow on the sup- 
posed ill efifect that such an appointment would have 
on the minds of the Indian powers. He said, " that 
these powers could have no dependence on his fulfil- 
ling his engagements, or maintaining the faith of trea- 
ties \r ch he might offer for their acceptance, if they 
saw him treated with such contempt." Mr. Bristow's 
appearing in a political character was the whole of his 
complaint ; yet, when he comes to a voluntary distri- 
bution of the duties of the office, he gives Mi. Bris- 
tow those very political negotiations of which but the 

If If 





'' i« 


'): ^'' 

'1 ^ i,-i 



day before he had iu such strong terms declared him 
personally incapable, whose appointment he consid- 
ered to be fatal to those negotiations, and which he 
then spoke of as a measure in itself such as the bit- 
terest adversary to Great Britain would have pro- 
posed. But having thus yielded his whole ground 
of ostensible objection, he reserved to his own ap- 
pointment the entire management of the pecuniary 
trust. Accordingly he named Mr. Bristow for the 
former, and Mr. Middleton for the lattei. On his 
own principles he ought to have done the very re- 
verse. On every justifiable principle he ought to 
have done so ; for a servant who for a long time re- 
sists the orders of his masters, and when he reluc- 
tantly gives way obeys them by halves, ought to be 
remarkably careful to make his actions correspond 
with his words, and to put himself out of all suspi- 
cion with regard to the purity of his motives. It was 
possible that the political reasons, which were solely 
assigned against Mr. Bristow's appointment, might 
have been the seal motives of Mr. Hastings's oppo- 
sition. But these he totally abandons, and holds 
fast to the pecuniary department. Now, as it is no- 
torious that most of the abuses of India grow out 
of money-dealing, it was peculiarly unfit for a ser- 
vant, delicate with regard to his reputation, to re- 
quire a personal and confidential agent in a situation 
merely official, in which secrecy and personal con- 
nections could be of no possible use, and could only 
serve to excite distrust. Matters of account cannot 
be made too public ; and it is not the most confiden- 
tial agent, but the most responsible, who is the fit- 
test for the management of pecuniary trusts. That 
man was the fittest at once to do the duty, and to 

-■■ • /. 





remove all suspicions from the Governor-Gencrars 
oharactcr, whom, by not being of his appointment, 
he could not be supposed to favor for private pur- 
poses, who must naturally stand in awe of his in- 
spection, and whose misconduct could not possibly 
be imputable to him. Such an agency in a pecu- 
niary trust was the very last on which Mr. Hastings 
ought to have risked his disobedience to the ordeii 
of the Direction, — or, what is even worse for his 
motives, a direct contradiction to all the principles 
upon which he had attempted to justify that bold 

The conduct of Mr. Hastings i-i the affair of Ma- 
homed Reza Khan was an act of disobedience of 
the same character, but wrought by other instru- 
ments. Wlien the Duann4 (or universal perception 
and management of the revenues) of Bengal was ac- 
quired to the Company, together with the command 
of the army, tlie Nabob, or governor, naturally fell 
into the rank rather of a subject than that even of 
a dependent prince. Yet the preservation of such a 
power in such a degree of subordination, with the 
criminal jurisdiction, and the care of the public or- 
der annexed to it, was a wise and laudable policy. 
It preserved a portion of the government in the hands 
of the natives ; it kept them in respect ; it rendered 
them quiet on the change ; and it prevented that 
vast kingdom from wearing the dangerous appear- 
ance, and still more from sinking into the terrible 
state, of a country of conquest. Your Committee 
has already reported the manner in which the Com- 
pany (it must be allowed, upon pretences that will 
not bear the slightest examination) diverted from itfl 
purposes a great part of the revenues appropriated 

'■ill •] 






i m 

V .1 


I % :. j 



to the country government; but they were very 
properly anxious that what remained should be well 
administered. In the lifetime of General Clavering 
and Colonel Monson, Mahomed Reza Kh&n, a man 
of rank among the natives, was judged by them the 
fittest person to conduct the affairs of the Nabob, 
as his Naib, or deputy : an office well known in the 
ancient constitution of these provinces, at a time 
when the principal magistrates, by nature and situ- 
ation, were more efficient. This appointment was 
highly approved, and in consequence confirmed, by 
the Court of Directoi-s. Mr. Hastings and Mr. Bar- 
well, however, thought proper to remove him. To 
the authority of the Court of Directors they opposed 
the request of the Nabob, stating that he was arrived 
at the common age of maturity, and stood in no need 
of a deputy to manage his affairs. On former occa- 
sions Mr. Hastings conceived a very low opinion of 
the condition of the person whom he thus set up 
against the authority of his masters. " On a former 
occasion," as the Directors tell him, " and to serve a 
very different purpose, he had not scrupled to declare 
it as visible as the sun that the Nabob was a mere 
pageant, without even the shadow of authority." But 
on this occasion he became more substantial. Mr. 
Hastings and Mr. Barwell yielded to his representa- 
tion that a deputy was not necessary, and accordingly 
Mahomed Reza Khan was removed from his office. 

However, lest any one should so far mistrust their 
understanding as to conceive them the dupes of this 
jtrctext, they who had disobeyed the Company's or- 
ders under color that no deputy was necessary imme- 
diately appoint another deputy. This independent 
prince, who, as Mr. Hastings said, "had an incon- 



testable right to his situation, and that it was his by 
inheritanco," suddenly slirunk into his old state of in- 
significance, and was even looked upon in so low a 
light as to receive a severe reprimand from Mr. Hast- 
ings for interpoting in the duties of his (the deputy's) 

The Company's orders, censuring this transaction 
in the strongest terms, and ordering Mahomed Reza 
Khan to be immediately restored to the office of Naib 
Subahdar, were received in Calcutta in November, 
1779. Mr. Hastings acted on this with the firmness 
which he liad shown on other occasions ; but in his 
principles he went further. Thinking himself assured 
of some extraordinary support, suitable to the open 
and determined defiance with which he was resolved 
to oppose the lawful authority of his superiors, and to 
exercise a despotic power, he no longer adhered to 
Mr. Barwell's distinction of the orders which had a 
tendency to bring his government into disrepute. 
This distinction afforded sufficient latitude to disobe- 
dience ; but here he disdained all sorts of colors and 
distinctions. He directly set up an independent right 
to administer the government according to his pleas- 
ure ; and he went so far as to bottom his claim to act 
independently of the Court of Directors on the very 
statute which commanded his obedience to them. 

He declared roundly, " that he should 7iot yield to 
the authority of the Court of Directors in ani/ instance 
in which it should require his concession of the rights 
which he held under an act of Parliament." It is too 
clear to stand in need of proof, that he neither did or 
could hoM any authority that was not subject, in 
every parficle of it, and in every instance in wliich it 
could be esercised, to the orders of the Court of Di- 



li] li 



K , 


if- ;: 

I •/■ 

He therefore refused to back the Company's orders 
with any requisition from himself to the Nabob, but 
merely suffered them to be transmitted to him, leav- 
ing it to him to do just as he thought proper. The 
Nabob, who called Mr. Hastings " his patron, and de- 
clared he would never do anything without his con- 
sent and approbation," perfectly understood this kind 
of signification. For the second time the Nabob ro- 
covered from his trance of pageantry and insigtiifi- 
cance, and collected courage enough to write t ) the 
Council in these terms : " I administer the affairs of 
the Nizamut, (tho government,) wliich are the affairs 
of my own family, by my own authority, and shall do 
80 ; and I never can on any account agree to the ap- 
pointment of the Nabob Mahomed Reza Ehlln to the 
Naib Subahship." Here was a second independent 
power in Bengal. This answer from that power 
proved as satisfactory as it was resolute. No further 
notice was taken of the orders of the Court of Direc- 
tors, and Mahomed Reza Khan found their protection 
much more of a shado'. than the pageant of power of 
which he aspired to be the representative. 

This act of disobedience differs from the others in 
one particular which, in the opinio of your Com- 
mittee, rather aggravates than extenuates the offence. 
In tlie others, Messrs. Hastings and Barwell took the 
responsibility on themselves ; here they held up tho 
pretext of the country government. However, they 
obtained thereby one of the objects which they appear 
to have systematically pursued. As they had in the 
other instances shown to the British servants of the 
Company that the Directors were not able to protect 
them, here the same lesson was taught to the natives. 
Whilst the matter lay between the native power and 




the servrnts, the former was considered by Mr. Hast 
ings in the most contemptible light. When the ques- 
tion was between the servants and the Court of Di- 
rectors, the native power was assorted to be a self- 
derived, hereditary, uncontrollable authority, and en- 
couraged to act as such. 

In this manner the authority of the British legis- 
lature was at that time treated with every mark of 
reprobation and contempt. But soon after a most 
unexpected change took place, by which the persons 
in whose favor the Court of Directors had in vain 
interposed obtained specific objects which had been 
refused to them ; things were, however, so well con- 
trived, that legal authority was nearly as much af- 
fronted by the apparent compliance with their orders 
as by the real resistance they had before met with. 
After long and violent controversies, an agreement 
took place between Mr. Eastings and Mr. Francis. 
It appears that Mr. Hastings, embarrassed with the 
complicated wars and ruinous expenses into which his 
measures had brought him, began to think of procur- 
ing peace at home. The agreement originated in a 
conversation held on Christmas-Day, 1779, between 
Major Scott, then aide-de-camp, and now agent, to 
Mr. Hastings, and Mr. Ducarrel, a gentleman high 
in the Company's service at Calcutta. Mr. Scott, in 
consequence of this conversation, was authorized to 
make overtures to Mr. Francis through Mr. Ducarrel : 
to declare Mr. Hastings tired of controversy ; express- 
ing his wish to have the Mahratta war entirely left to 
him ; that there were certain points he could not give 
up ; that he could not (for reasons he then assigned) 
smhmit to the restoration of Mr. Fowke, Mahomed 
Reza Kh^n, and Mr. Bri.-tow ; that he had not tht 




, I! 

\tV •? 




$mallett pertcmal ohjection to them, and would willing* 
Ijr provide for thorn in any other lino. Mr. Francis 
in this treaty insisted on those very points which Mr. 
Hastings declared he could never give up, and that 
his conditions were the Company's orders, — that 
is, the restoration of the persons whom they had di- 
rected to be restored. The event of this negotiation 
was, that Mr. Hastings at length submitted to Mr. 
Francis, and that Mr. Fowko and Mahomod Reza 
Khan were reinstated in t'loi- •^ituatior-.-. 

Your Committee observe on tiiis part of the trans* 
action of Mr. Hastings, that as long as the question 
stood upon his obedience to his lawful superiors, so 
long ho considered the restoration of these persons as 
a gross indignity, tho submitting to wliich would dc- 
btroy all his credit and influence in the country ; but 
when it was to accommodate his own occasions in a 
treaty with a fellow-servant, all those diflBculties in- 
stantly vanish, and he finds it perfectly consistent 
witlj his dignity, credit, and influence, to do for Mr. 
Francis what he had refused to the strict and reiter- 
ated injunctions of the Court of Directors. Tranquil- 
lity was, however, for a time restored by this meas- 
ure, though it did not continue long. In about three 
months an occasion occurred in which Mr. Francis 
gave some opposition to a measure proposed by Mr. 
Hastings, which brought on a duel, upon tho mis- 
chievous effects of which your Committee have al- 
ready made their observations. 

The departure of Mr. Francis soon after for Eu- 
rope opened a new scene, and gave rise to a tliird 
revolution. Lest the arrangement with the servants 
of the Company should have the least appearance of 
being mistaken for obedience to their superiors, Mr. 





Francis wub little more than a month gone, when 
Mr. Fowko was again recalled from Benares, and Mr. 
Bri$tow $oon qfter from Oude. In these measures 
Mr. Hastings has combined the principles of disobe- 
dience whicli ho had used in all the cases hitherto 
stated. In his Minute of Consultation on this recal' 
he refers to his former Minutes ; and he adds, that he 
has " a recent motive in the necessity of removing any 
circumstance which may contribute to lesson his i»- 
fiuence in the effect of any negotiations in which he 
m.iy bo cupagcd in tho prosecution of his intended 
visit to Lucknow." Ho hero reverts to his old plea 
of preserving his influence ; not content witli this, as 
in the case of Mahomed Reza Klian he had called in 
the aid of the Nabob of Bengal, ho hero calls in the 
aid of the Nabob of Oude, who, on reasons exactly 
tallying with those given by Mr. Hastings, desires 
that Mr. Bristow may be removed. The true weight 
of these requisitions will appear, if not sufficiently ap- 
parent from the known situation of the parties, by 
the following extract of a letter from this Nabob of 
Oude to his agent at Calcutta, desiring him to ac- 
(juaint Mr. Hasting?, that, " if it is proper, I will 
write to the king [of Great Britain], and the vizier 
[one of his MajestyV ministers], and the chief of the 
Company, in such a manner as he sJiall direct, and in 
the words that he shall order, that Mr. Bristow's views 
may be thwarted there." Tliere is no doubt of the 
entire cooperation of the Nabob Asoph ul Dowlah 
in all the designs of Mr. Hastings, and in thwarting 
the views of any persons who place their relianco n 
the authority of tliis kingdom. 

As usual, the Court of Directors appear in their 
proper order in the procession. After this third act 






{ n. 





of disobedience with regard to the same person and 
the same office, and after calling the proceedings un- 
warrantable, " in order to vindicate and upJiold their 
own authority, and thinking it a duty incumbent on 
them to maintain the authority of the Court of Direo- 
tors," they again order Mr. Bristow to be reinstat- 
ed, and Mr. Middleton to be recalled: in this circle 
the whole moves with great regularity. 

The extraordinary operations of Mr. Hastings, that 
soon after followed in every department which was 
the subject of all these acts of disobedience, have 
made them appear in a light peculiarly unpropitious 
to his cause. It is but too probable, from his own ac- 
counts, that he meditated some strong measure, both 
at Benares and at Oude, at the very time of the re- 
moval of those officers. He declares he knew that his 
conduct in those places was such as to lie very open 
to malicious representations ; he must have been 
sensible that he was open to such representations 
from the beginning; he was therefore impelled by 
every motive which ought to influence a man of 
sense by no means to disturb the order which he had 
last established. 

Of this, however, he took no care ; but he was not 
so inattentive to the satisfaction of the sufferers, ei- 
ther in point of honor or of interest. This was most 
strongly marked in the case of Mr. Fowke. His rep- 
aration to that gentleman, in point of honor, is as full 
as possible. Mr. Hastings "declared, that he ap- 
proved his character and his conduct in office, and 
believed tliat he might depend upon his exact and lit- 
eral obedience and fidelity in the execution of the func- 
tions annexed to it." Such is the character of the 
man whom Mr. Hastings a second time removed from 





the office to which he told the Court of Directors, in 
his letter of the 3rd of March, 1780, he had appoint- 
ed him in conformity to tlieir orders. On the 14th 
of January, 1781, he again finds it an indispensable 
obligation in him to exercise powers " inherent in the 
constitution of his government." On this principle 
he claimed " the right of nominating the agent of his 
own choice to the Residence of Benares ; that it ia 
a representative situation : that, speaking for myself 
alone, it may be sufficient to say, that Mr. Francis 
Fowke is not my agent ; that I cannot give him my 
confidence: that, while he continues at Benares, he 
stands as a screen between the Rajah and this govern- 
ment, instead of an instrument of control ; that the 
Rajah himself, and every chief in Hindostan, will re- 
gard it as the pledge and foundation of his independ- 
ence." Here Mr. Hastings has got back to his old 
principles, where he takes post as on strong ground. 
Tliis he declares " to be his objection to Mr. Fowke, 
and that it is insuperable." The very line before this 
paragraph he writes of this person, to whom he could 
not give his confidence, that "he believed he might 
depend upon his fidelity, and his exact and literal obe- 
dience." Mr. Scott, who is authorized to defend Mr. 
Hastings, supported the same principles before your 
Committee by a comparison that avowedly reduces 
the Court of Directors to the state of a party against 
their servants. He declared, that, in his opinion, " it 
would be just as absurd to deprive him of the power 
of nominating his ambassador at Benares as it would 
be to force on the ministry of this country an ambas- 
sador from the opposition." Such is the opinion en- 
tertained in Bengal, and that but too effectually real- 
ized, of the relation between the principal servants of 
the Company and the Court of Directors. 













If / 1 


So far the reparation, in point of honor, to Mr. 
Powke was complete. The reparation in point of 
interest your Committee do not find to hare been 
equally satisfactory ; but they do find it to be of the 
most extraordinary nature, and of the most mischiev- 
ous example. Mr. Fowke had been deprived of a 
place of rank and honor, — the place of a public Vack- 
eel, or representative. The recompense provided for 
him is a succession to a contract. Mr. Hastings 
moved, that, on the expiration of Colonel Morgan's 
contract, he should be appointed agent to all the boats 
employed for the military service of that establish- 
ment, with a commission oi ffteenper cent on all diS' 
hursements in that office, — permitting Mr. Fowke, at 
the same time, to draw his allowance of an hundred 
pounds a month, as Resident, until the expiration of 
the contract, and for three months after. 

Mr. Hastings is himself struck, as every one must 
be, with so extraordinary a proceeding, the principle 
of which, he observes, " is liable to one material ob- 
jection." That one is material indeed ; for, no limit 
being laid down for the expense in which the per- 
centage is to arise, it is the direct interest of the per- 
son employed to make his department as expensive 
as possible. To this Mr. Hastings answers, that 
" he is convinced by experience it will be better per- 
formed " ; and yet he immediately after subjoins, 
" This d^ect can only be corrected by the probity of 
the person intrusted with so important a cliarge ; and 
I am willing to have it understood, as a proof of the 
confidence I repose in Mr. Fowke, that I have proposed 
his appointment, in opposition to a general principle, 
to a trust so constituted." 

In the beginning of this very Minute of ConsultOr 





tion, Mr. Hastings removes Mr. Fowke from the Resi- 
dency of Benares because "he cannot give him his 
confidence " ; and yet, before the pen is out of his 
hand, he violates one of the soundest general princi- 
ples in the whole system of dealing, in order to give 
a proof of the confidence he reposes in that gentle- 
man. This apparent gross contradiction is to be rec- 
onciled but by one way, — which is, that confidence 
with Mr. Hastings comes and goes with his opposi- 
tion to legal authority. "Where that authority rec- 
nmends any person, his confidence in him vanishes ; 
.it to show that it is the authority, and not the per- 
son, he opposes, when that is out of sight, there is no 
rule so sacred which is not to be violated to manifest 
his real esteem and perfect trust in the person whom 
he has rejected. However, by overturning general 
principles to compliment Mr. Fowke's integrity, he 
does all in his power to corrupt it ; at the same time 
he establishes an example that must either subject 
all future dealings to the same pernicious clause, or 
which, being omitted, must become a strong implied 
charge on the integrity of those who shall hereafter 
be excluded from a trust so constituted. 

It is not foreign to the object of your Committee, 
in this part of their observations, which relates to the 
obedience to orders, to remark upon the manner in 
which the orders of the Court of Directors with re- 
gard to this kind of dealing in contracts are observed. 
These orders relate to contracts; and they contain 
tWv, standing regulations. 

1st, Tliat all contracts shall be publicly advertised, 
and that the most reasonable proposals shall be ac- 

2ndly, That two contracts, those of provisions and 
for carriage bullocks, shall be only annual. 










These orders are undoubtedly some correctives to 
the abuses which may arise in this very critical arti- 
cle of public dealing. But the House will remark, 
that, if the business usually carried on by contracts 
can be converted at pleasure into agencies, like that 
of Mr. Fowke, all these reg'ilations perish of course, 
and there is no direction whatsoever for restraining 
the most prodigal and corrupt bargains for the pub- 

Your Committee have inquired into the observance 
of these necessary regulations, and they find that 
.hey have, like the rest, been entirely contemned, 
and contemned with entire impunity. After the 
period of Colonel Monson's death, and Mr. Hastings 
and Mr. Barwell obtaining the lead in the Council, tne 
contracts were disposed of without at all advertising 
for proposals. Those in 1777 were given for three 
years ; and the gentlemen in qiiestion growing by 
habit and encouragement into more boldness, in 
1779 the contracts were disposed of for five years : 
and this they did at the eve of the expiration of their 
own appointment to the government. This increase 
in the length of the contracts, though contrary to 
orders, might have admitted some excuse, if it had 
been made, even in appearance, the means of less- 
ening the expense. But the advantages allowed to 
the contractors, instead of being diminished, were en- 
larged, and in a manner far beyond the proportion 
of the enlargement of terms. Of this abuse and con- 
tempt of orders a judgment may be formed by the 
single contract for supplying the army with draught 
and carriage bullocks. As it stood at the expiration 
of the contract in 1779, the expense of that service 
was about one thousand three hundred pounds a 



mouth. By the new contract, given away in Septem- 
ber of that year, the service was raised to the enor- 
mcas sum of near six thousand pounds a month. 
The monthly increase, tliorofore, being four thousand 
seven hundred pounds, ii constitutes a total increase 
of charges for the Company, in the five years of tho 
contract, of no less a sum than two hundred and 
thirty-five thousand pounds. Now, as the former 
contract was, without doubt, sufficiently advanta- 
geous, a judgment may be formed of the extrava- 
gance of the present. The terms, indeed, pass the 
bounds of all allowance for negligence and ignorance 
of office. 

The case of Mr. Belli's contract for supplying pro- 
visions to the Fort is of the same description ; and 
what exceedingly increases the suspicion against this 
profusion, in contracts made in direct violation of or- 
ders, is, that they are always found to be given in 
favor of persons closely connected with Mr. Hastings 
in his family, or even in his actual service. 

The principles upon which Mr. Hastings and Mr. 
Barwell justify this disobedience, if admitted, reduce 
the Company's government, so far as it regards the 
Supreme Council, to a mere patronage, — to a mere 
power of nominating persons to or removing them 
from an authority which is not only despotic with 
regard to those who are subordinate to it, but in all 
its acts entirely independent of the legal power which 
is nominally superior. These are principles directly 
leading to the destruction of the Company's govern- 
ment. A correspondent practice being established, 
(as in this case of contracts, as well as others, it has 
been,) the means are furnished of effectuating this 
purpose: for the common superior, the Company, 






¥". I 

having no power to regulate or to support their own 
appointments, nor to remove those whom they wish 
to remove, nor to prevent the contracts from being 
made use of against their interest, all the English in 
Bengal must naturally look ^o the next in authority ; 
they must depend upon, follow, and attach them- 
selves to him solely ; and thus a party may be 
formed of the whole system of civil and military ser- 
vants for the support of the subordinate, and defiance 
of the supreme power. 

Your Committee being led to attend to the abuse 
of contracts, which are given upon principles fatal 
to the subordination of the service, and in defiance 
of orders, revert to the disobedience of orders in the 
case of Mahomed Reza Khan. 

This transaction is of a piece with those that pre- 
ceded it. On the 6th of July, 1781, Mr. Hastings 
announced to the board the arrival of a messenger 
and introduced a requisition from the young Nabob 
Mobarek ul Dowlah, " that he might be permitted to 
dispose of his own stipend, without being made to de- 
pend on the will of another." In favor of this requisi- 
tion Mr. Hastings urged various arguments : — that 
the Nabob could no longer be deemed a minor; — 
that he was twenty-six years of age, and father of 
many children; — that his understanding was much 
improved of late by an attention to his education ; — 
that these circumstances gave him a claim to the 
uncontrolled exercise of domestic authority ; and it 
might reasonably be supposed that he would pay a 
greater regard to a just economy in bis own family 
than had been observed by those who were aliens to 
it. For these reasons Mr. Hastings recommended to 
the board that Mahomed Reza Khau should be im- 

Pi % 

1 1 







mediately divested of the office of superintendent of 
the Nabob's household, and that the Nabob Mobarek 
ul Doiclah should be intruatcd with the exclusive and en- 
tire receipts and disbursements of his stipend, and the 
uncontrolled management and regulation of his liouse- 
hold. Thus far your Committee are of opinion that 
the conclusion corresponds with the premises ; for, 
supposing the fact to be established or admitted, that 
the Nabob, in point of ago, capacity, and judgment, 
was qualified to act for himself, it seems reasonable 
that the management of his domestic affair should 
not be withheld from him. On this part of ne pro- 
ceeding your Committee will only observe, that, if it 
were strictly true that the Nabob's understanding had 
been much improved of late by an attention to his 
education, (which seems an extraordinary way of 
describing the qualifications of a man of six-and- 
twenty, the father of many children,) tlie merit of 
such improvement must be attributed to Mahomed 
Reza Khan, who was the only person of rank and 
character connected with him, or who could be sup- 
posed to have any influence over him. Mr. Hastings 
himself reproaches the Nabob with raising mean men 
to be his companions, and tells him plainly, that some 
persons, both of be 2 character and base origin, had 
found the means qf insinuating themselves into his com- 
pany and constant fellowship. In such society it is not 
likely that either the Nabob's morals or his under- 
standing could have been much improved ; nor could 
it be deemed prudent to leave him without any check 
upon liis conduct. Mr. Hastings's opinion on this 
point may be collected from what ho did, but by no 
means from what he said, on the occasion. 
The House will naturally expect to find that the 


IP *1 






Nabob's iviiuest was granted, and that the resolution 
of the board was conformable to the terms of Mr. 
Hastings's recommendation. Yet the fact is direct- 
ly the reverse. Mr. Hastings, after advising tliat the 
Nabob should be intrmted tvith the exclusive and entire 
receipts and dishumcments of his stipend, immediately 
corrects that advice, being aware that so sudden and 
unlimited a disposal of a large revenue might at first 
encourage a spirit of dissipation in the Nabob, — and 
reserves to himself a power of establishing, with the 
Nabob's consent, such a plan for tho regulation and 
equal distribution of the Nabob's expenses as should 
be adapted to the dissimilar appearances of preserving 
his interests and his independence at the same time. 
On the same complicated principles the subsequent 
resolution of the board professes to allow the Nabob 
the management o^ his stipend and expenses, — with 
an hope, however, (which, considering tlie relative sit- 
uation of the parties, could be notliing less than an 
injunction,) tliat he would submit to such a plan as 
should be agreed on between him and the Governor- 

Tlie drift of these contradictions is sufficiently ap- 
parent. Mahomed Reza Khftn was to be divested of 
his office at all events, and the management of the 
Nabob's stipend committed to other hands. To ac- 
complish the first, the Nabob is said to be " now ar- 
rived at that time of life when a man may be sup- 
posed capable, if ever, of managing his own concerns." 
When tliis principle has answered the momentary 
purpose for wliich it was produced, we find it immo 
diately discarded, and an opposite resolution formed 
on an opposite principle, viz., that he shall not have 
the management of his own concerns, in consideration 
of his u'ant of expcriince. 



Mr. Hastings, on his arrival at Moorslio(Jn!i;id, 
gives Mr. Wlielor an account of his interview w ith 
the Nabol), and of tho Nabob's implicit submission to 
his advice. Tho pruicipal, if not tho solo, object of 
tho whole operation appears from tho result of it. 
Sir John D'Oyly, a gentleman in whom Mr. Hastings 
places particular coufidenco, succeeds to the otHco of 
Mahomed Roza Khan, and to the same control over 
the Nabob's expenses. Into the hands of this gentle- 
man the Nabob's stipend was to he iinmediatehj paid, 
as every intermediate channel would be an unavoidable 
cause of delay ; and to his advice tho Nal)ob was re- 
quired to give tho same attention as if it were given 
by Mr. Hastings himself. One of the conditions pre- 
scribed to tho Nabob was, that he should admit no 
Englishman to his presence without previously con- 
sulving Sir John D'Oyly ; and he must forbid any 
person of that nation to be intruded tvithout his intro- 
duction. On these arrangements it need oi iy be ob- 
served, that a measure wliich sets out with profess- 
ing to relieve the Nabob from a state of perpetual pit- 
pilaye concludes with delivering not only his fortune, 
but his person, to the custody of a particular friend 
of Mr. Hastings. 

The instructions given to tho Nabob contain oili- 
er passages that merit attention. In one place Mr. 
Hastings tells him, " You have ofTerod to give up tho 
sum of four lacs of rupees to be allowed the free use 
of the remainder; but this we have refused." In 
another he says, that, " as many matters tvill occur 
tvhich cannot be so easily explained by letter as by con- 
versation, I desire that you will on such occasions give 
your orders to Sir John D'Oyly respecting such points 
as you may desire to have imparted to we.'' The 

,1 ' \n 


t f 






.i;t: / 



t. . . 


offer alluded to in tlic first passage docs not apjMjar 
in the Nabob's letters, therefore must have been in 
conversation, and declined by Mr. Hastings without 
consulting his colleague. A refusal of it might havo 
been proper ; but it supposes a degree of incapacity 
in the Nabob not to be reconciled to the principles 
on which Mahomed Rcza Khan was removed from 
the management of his affairs. Of the matters allud- 
ed to in the second, and which, it is said, could not be 
80 easily explained by lettert as in onversation, no ex- 
planation is given. Your Committee will therefore 
leave them, as Mr. Hastings has done, to the opinion 
of the Hous^e. 

As soon as the Nabob's requisition was communi- 
cated to the board, it was moved and resolved that 
Mahomed Reza Khan should be divested of his office ; 
and the House have seen in what manner it was dis- 
posed of. The Nabob had stated various complaints 
against him : — that he had dismissed the old estal)- 
lished servants of the Nizamut, and filled their places 
with his own dependants ; — that he had regularly re- 
ceived the stipend of the Nizamut from the Company, 
yet had kept the Nabob involved in debt and distress, 
and exposed to the clamors of his creditors, and some- 
times even in want of a dinner. All these complaints 
were recorded at large in the proceedings of the 
Council ; but it does not appear that they were ever 
communicated to Mahomed Reza Khan, or that he 
was ever called upon, in any shape, to answer them. 
This circumstance inclines your Committee to be- 
lieve that all of these charges were groundless, — 
especially as it appears on the face of the proceed- 
ings, that the chief of them were not well founded. 
Mr. Hastings, in his letter to Mr. Wheler, urges the 



absolute necessity of the monthly p^iymeut of the Na- 
bob's stipend beiny regularly made, aad says, that, to 
relieve the Nabob's present wants, ho had directed 
the Resident to raiiso au immedi-ite supply ou the 
credit of the Company, to bo repaid from the first re- 
ceipts. From bunco yot'r Committee conclude that 
the montlily payments had not been regularly made, 
and that whatever distresses the Nabob might have 
suffered nuist have been owing to tlio Governor-Gen- 
eral and Council, not to Mahomed llcza Khan, who, 
for aught tliat appears to the contrary, paid away the 
stipend as fai^t as he received it. Had it been other- 
wise, tliat is, if Mahomed Reza Khan had reserved a 
balance of the Nabob's money in his hands, ho should, 
and undoubtedly he would, have been called upon to 
pay it in ; and then there would have been no ueces- 
bity for raising au immediate supply by other means. 
Tlie transaction, on the whole, speaks very suffi- 
ciently for itself. It is a gross instance of repeated 
disobedience to repeated orders ; and it is rendered 
particularly offensive to the authority of the Court 
of Directors by the frivolous and contradictory rea- 
sons assigned for it. But whether the Nabob's requi- 
sition reasonable or not, the Governor-General 
and Council were precluded by a special instruction 
from complying with it. Tiio Directors, in their let- 
ter of the 14th of February, 1779, declare, that a 
resolution of Council, (taken by Mr. Francis and 
Mr. Wheler, in the absence of Mr. Barwell,) viz., 
" that, the Nabob's letter should be referred to them 
for their decision, and that no resolution should bo 
taken in Bengal ou his requisitions without their 
special orders and instructions," was very proper. 
Tliey prudeu'> reserved to themselves the right of 






deciding on such questions; but thoy reserved it 
to uo pur{)oso. In England the autliority is purely 
formal. In Bengal the power is positive and real. 
When thoy clash, their opjMJsition serves only to de- 
grade the authority that ought to predominate, and to 
exult the jwwer that ought to be dependent. 

Since the closing of the above Report, many ma- 
terial papers have arrived u-om India, and have been 
laid before your Committee. That which they think 
it most immediately necessary to annex to the Appen- 
dix to this Report is the resolution of the Council- 
General to allow to the members of the Board of 
Trade resident in Calcutta a charge of five per cent 
on the sale in England of the investment formed up- 
on their second plan, namely, that plan whicli had 
been communicated to Lord Macartney. The invest- 
ment on this plan is stated to be raised from 800,000?. 
to 1,000,000/. sterling. 

It is on all accounts a very memorable transaction, 
and tends to bring on a heavy burden, operating in 
the nature of a tax laid by their own authority on 
the goods of their masters in England. If such a 
compensation to the Board of Trade was necessary 
on account of their engagement to take no further 
(that is to say, uo unlawful) emolument, it implies 
that the practice of making such unlawful emolu- 
ment had formerly existed; and your Committee 
think it very extraordinary that the first notice the 
Company had received of such a practice should be 
in taxing them for a compensation for a partial aboli- 
tion of it, secured on the parole of honor of those very 
persons who are supposed to have been guilty of this 
unjustifiable conduct. Your Committee consider this 



enj • .lit, U" kopt, as only a partial abolition of iht! 
!'. corrupt practice : because no part of the com- 
pousatiou is given to the niombcrs of tlio Board of 
Trade who reside at the several factories, though 
their means of abuse are without all coinparisoii 
greater ; and if the corruption was supjwsed so ex- 
tensive as to bo bought off at that price where the 
means were fewer, the IIouso will judge how for the 
tax has purchased off the evil. 




IT *1 





, "ii ■ 


or TBS 





November i8, 1783. 









From the Select Committee appointed to take into con- 
sideraMon the state of the administration of justice in the 
provinces of Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, and to report 
the same, as it shall appear to them, to the House, with 
their observations thereupon; and who were instructed 
to consider how the British possessions in the East In- 
dies may be held and governed with the "T'-^atest security 
and advantage to this country, and by what means the 


the native inhabitants may be best pro- 

YOUR Committee, in the course of their inquiry 
into the obedience yielded by the Company's 
servants to the orders of the Court of Directors, (the 
authority of which orders had been strengthened by 
the Regulating Act of 1773,) could not overlook one 
of the most essential objects of that act and of thoso 
orders, namely, the taking of gifts and presents. 
These pretended free gifts from the natives to the 
Company's servants in power had never been author- 
ized by law ; they are contrary to the covenants for- 
merly entered into by the President and Council; 
they are strictly forbidden by the act of Parliament, 
and forbidden upon grounds of the most substantial 

Before the Regulating Act of 1773, the allowances 
made by the Company to che Presidents of Bengal 
were abundantly sufficient to guaranty them against 







.1 ;f 



anything like a necessity for giving into that perni- 
cious practice. The act of Parliament which appoint- 
ed a Governor-General in the place of a President, as 
it was extremely particular in enforcing the prohibi- 
tion of those presents, so it was equally careful in 
making an ample provision for supporting the dignity 
of the oflSce, in order to remove all excuse for a cor- 
rupt increase of its emoluments. 

Although evidence on record, as well as verbal tes- 
timony, has appeared before your Committee of pres- 
ents to a large amount having been received by Mr. 
Hastings and others before the year 1775, they were 
not able to find distinct traces of that practice in him 
or any one else for a few years. 

The inquiries set on foot in Bengal, by order of the 
Court of Directors, in 1775, with regard to all corrupt 
practices, and the vigor with which they were for 
some tim^- pursued, might have given a temporary 
check to the receipt of presents, or might have pro- 
duced a more efifectual concealment of them, and af- 
terwards the calamities which befell almost all who 
were concerned in the first discoveries did probably 
prevent any further complaint upon the subject ; but 
towards the close of the last session your Committee 
have received much of new and alarming information 
concerning that abuse. 

The first traces appeared, though faintly and ob- 
scurely, in a letter to the Court of P'rectors from the 
Governor-General, Mr. Hastings, written on the 29th 
of November, 1780.* It has been stated in a former 
Report of your Committee,! that on the 26th of June, 
1780, Mr. Hastings being very earnest in the prose- 

• Appendix B. No. 1. 

t Vide Supplement to the Second Report, page 7. 




cutioii of a particular operation in the Mahratta war, 
in order to remove objections to that measure, which 
wore made on account of the expense of the contin- 
gencies, he offered to exonerate the Company from 
that " charge." Continuing his Minute of Council, 
he says, " That sum " (a sum of about 23,000?.) " I 
liave already deposited, within a small amount, in 
the hands of the sub-treasurer ; and I heg that the 
board vr'iW permit it to be accepted for that service." 
Here he offers in his own person; he deposits, or 
pretends that he deposits, in his own person ; and, 
with the zeal of a man eager to pledge his private 
fortune in support of his measures, he prays that his 
offer may be accepted. Not the least hint that he 
was delivering back to the Company money of their 
own, \,hich he had secreted from them. Indeed, no 
man ever made it a request, much less earnestly en- 
treated, " begged to be permitted," to pay to any per- 
sons, public or private, money that was their own. 

It appeared to your Committee that the money of- 
fered for that service, which was to forward the oper- 
ations of a detachment under Colonel Camac in an 
expedition against one of the Mahratta chiefs, was 
not accepted. And your Committee, having directed 
search to be made for any sums of money paid into 
the Treasury by Mr. Hastings for this service, found, 
that, notwithstanding his assertion of having depos- 
ited " two lacs of rupees, or within a trifle of that 
sum, in the hands of the sub-treasurer," no entry 
whatsoever of that or any other payment by the Gov- 
ernor-General was made in the Treasury accounts at 
or about that time.* This circumstance appeared 
very striking to your Committee, as the non-appear- 

* Appendix B. No. 3. 



li . 


anco ill the Company's books of the article in ques- 
tion must be owing to one or other of tlieso four 
causes : — That the assertion of Mr. Hastings, of his 
having paid in near two lacs of rupees at that time, 
was not true ; or that the sub-treasurer may receive 
great sums in deposit without entering them in the 
Company's Treasury accounts ; or that the Treasury 
books themselves are records not to be depended on ; 
or, lastly, that faithful copies of these books of ac- 
counts are not transmitted to Europe. The defect 
of an entry corresponding with Mr. Hastings's decla- 
ration in Council can be attributed only to one of 
these four causes, — of which the want of foundation 
in his recorded assertion, though very blamable, is 
the least alarming. 

On the 29th of November following, Mr. Hastings 
communicated to the Court of Directors some sort of 
notice of this transaction.* In his letter of that date 
lie varies in no small degree the aspect under which 
the business appeared in his Minute of Consultation 
of tlie 26th of June. In his letter he says to the Di- 
rectors, " The subject is now become obsolete ; the 
fair hopes which I had built upon the prosecution of 
the Mahratta war have been blasted by the dreadful 
calamities which have befallen your Presidency of 
Fort St. George, and changed the object of our pur- 
suit from the aggrandizement of your power to its pres- 
ervation." After thus confessing, or rather boast- 
ing, of liis motives to the Mahratta war, he proceeds : 
" My present reason for reverting to my own conduct 
on the occasion which I have mentioned" (namely, 
his offering a sum of money for the Company's ser- 
vice) " is to obviate the false eonclusiona or purposed 

• Vide Appendix B. No. 1. 




misrepregentations which may be made of it, cither as 
an artifice of ostentation or the eflFect of corrupt influ- 
ence, by assuring you that the money, hi/ whatever 
means it came into my possession, was not my own, 
that I had myself na right to it, nor would or could 
have received it but for the occasion which prompt- 
ed me to avail myself of the accidental means which 
.V3re at that instant afforded me of accepting and 
converting it to the property and use of the Com- 
pany : and with this brief apology I shall dismiss the 

The apology is brief indeed, considering the nature 
of the transaction ; and what is more material than 
its length or its shortness, it is in all points unsatis- 
factory. The matter becomes, if possible, more ob- 
scure by his explanation. Here was money received 
by Mr. Hastings, which, according to his own judg- 
ment, h-i had no right to receive ; it was money 
which, " but for the occasion that prompted him, he 
could not have accepted " ; it was money which came 
into his, anr" from his into the Company's hands, by 
ways and moans undescribed, and from persons un- 
named : yet, though apprehensive of false conclu- 
sions and purposed misrepresentations, he gives his 
employers no insight whatsoever into a matter which 
of all others stood in the greatest need of a full end 
clear elucidation. 

Although he chooses to omit this essential point, 
ho expresses the most anxious solicitude to clear 
himself of the cliargcs that might be made against 
him, of the artifices of ostentation, and of corrupt 
influence. To discover, if possible, tlie ground for 
apprehending such imputations, your Committee ad- 
verted to the circumstances in which he stood at the 


time: they found that this letter was dispatched 
about the time that Mr. Francis took his passage for 
England ; his fear of misrepresentation may there- 
fore allude to something which passed in conversa- 
tion between him and that gentleman at the time the 
offer was made. 

It was not easy, on the mere face of his offer, to 
give an ill turn to it. The act, as it stands on the 
Minute, is not only disinterested, but generous and 
public-spirited. Tf Mr. Hastings apprehended mis- 
representation iiom Mr. Francis, or from any other 
person, your Committee conceive that he did not em- 
ploy proper means for defeating the ill designs of his 
adversaries. On the contrary, the course he has taken 
in his letter to the Court of Directors is calculated to 
excite doubts and suspicions in minds the most favor- 
ably disposed to him. Some degree of ostentation is 
not extremely blamable at a time when a man advan- 
ces largely from his private fortune towards the pub- 
lic service. It is human infirmity at the worst, and 
only detracts something from the lustre of an action 
in itself meritorious. The kind of ostentation which 
is criminal, and criminal only because it is fraudulent, 
is where a person makes a show of giving when in 
reality he does not give. This impo'jition is criminal 
more or less according to the circumstances. But if 
the money received to furnish such a pretended gift 
is taken from any third person without right to take 
it, a new guilt, and guilt of a much worse quality 
and description, is incurred. The Governor-General, 
in order to keep clear of ostentation, on the 29th of 
November, 1780, declares, that the sum of money 
which he offered on the 26th of the preceding June 
as his own was not his own, and that he had no right 



to it. Clearing himself of vanity, he convicts him- 
self of deceit, and of injustice. 

The other object of this brief apology was to clear 
himself of corrupt influence. Of all ostentation he 
stands completely acquitted in the month o^ Novem- 
ber, however he might have been faulty in that re- 
spect in the month of June ; but with regard to the 
other part of the apprehended charge, namely, corrupt 
influence f he gives no satisfactory solution. A great 
sum of money " not his own," — money to which " he 
had no right," — money which came into his prsses- 
sion " by whatever means " : — if this bo not money 
obtained by corrupt influence, or by something worse, 
that is, by violence or terror, it will be difficult to fix 
upon circumstances which can furninh a presumption 
of unjustifiable use of power and influence in the ac- 
quisition of profit. The last part of the apology, 
that he had converted his money (" which he had no 
right to receive") to the Company's use, so far as 
your Committee can discover, does nowhere appear. 
He speaks, in the Minute of the 26th of June, as 
having then actually deposited it for the Company's 
service ; in the letter of November he says that he 
converted it to the Company's property : but there is 
no trace in the Company's books of its being ever 
brought to their credit in the expenditure for any 
specific service, even if any such entry and expendi- 
ture could justify him in taking money which he had, 
by his own confession, " no right to receive." 

The Directors appear to have been deceived by this 
representation, and in their letter of January, 1782,* 
consider the money as actually paid into thoir Treas- 
ury. Even under their error concerning the appU- 







* Appendix B. No. 7. 








i i 

' I 





cation of the money, they appear rather alarmed 
than satisfied with the brief apology of the Qovernor- 
Qeneral. Thoy consider the whole p'-oceeding as ex- 
traordinary and mytterioui. Thoy, however, do not 
condemn it with any remarkable asperity ; after ad- 
mitting that he might be induced to a temporary 
secrecy respecting the membert of the board, from a 
fear of their resisting the proposed application, or 
any application of this money to the Company's use, 
yet they write to the Governor-General and Council as 
follows : — "It does not appear to us that there could 
be any real necessity for delaying to communicate to 
ua immediate information of the - nnel by which the 
money came into Mr. Hastinp , possession, with a 
complete illustration of the cau i or causes of so «&- 
traordinary an event." And again : *' The means 
proposed of defraying the extra expenses are very 
extraordinary; and the money, we conceive, must 
have come into his hands by an unumal channel; 
and when more complete information comes before 
as, we shall give our sentiments fully on the transac- 
tion." And speaking of this and other moneys under 
a similar description, they say, "We shall suspend 
our judgment, without approving it in the least de- 
gree, or proceeding to censure our Governor-General 
for this transaction." The expectations entertained 
by the Directors of a more complete explanation 
were natural, and their expression tender and tem- 
perate. But the more complete information which 
they naturally expected they never Lave to this day 

Mr. Fastings wrote two more letters to the Secret 
Committee of the Court of Directors, in which he men- 
tions this transaction : the first dated (as be asserts, 





«nd a Mr. Larkins swears) on the 22d of May, 
1782 ; * the last, which accompanied it, so late as the 
16th of December in the same jrear.f Though so 
long an interval lay between the transaction of the 
26th of June, 1780, and the middle of December, 
1782, (upwards of two years,) no further satisfaction 
is given. He has written, since the receipt of the 
above letter of the Court of Directors, (which de- 
manded, what they had a right to demand, a clear 
explanation of the particulars of this sum of money 
which he had no right to receive,) witliout giving 
them any further satisfaction. Instead of explana- 
tion or apology, he assumes a tone of complaint and 
reproach to the Directors: he lays before them a 
kind of an account of presents received, to the 
amount of upwards of 200,000^., — some at a con- 
siderable distance of time, and which had not been 
hitherto communicated to the Company. 

In the letter which acco'apaniod tiiat very extraor- 
dinary account, which then for the first time appeared, 
he discovers no small solicitude to clear himself from 
the imputation of having these discoveries drawn 
from him by the terrors of the Parliamentary inqui- 
ries then on foot. To remove all suspicion of such 
a motive for making these discoveries, Mr. Larkins 
swears, in an affidavit made before Mr. Justice Hyde, 
bearing even date with the letter wliicli accompanies 
the account, that is, of the 16tli of December, 1782, 
that this letter had been written by him on the 22d 
of May, several months before it was dispatclied.j 
It appears that Mr. Larkins, who makes this volun- 
tary affidavit, is neither secretary to the board, nor 

• Appendix B. No. 3 and No. 6. f Appendix B. No. 6. 

t Vide Larkins'g AfBdaTit, Appendix B. No. 5. 







■I' : n I 

Mr. Uur-tings's private aeeretarj, but an officer of the 

Trfctf' „ ->f Bengal. 

Mr. ITistiiigR was conscious that a question would 
inevitably arise, how he came to delay the sending 
intelligence of so very interesting a nature from May 
to December. He therefore thinks it necessary to ac- 
count fur so suspicious a circumstance. He tells the 
Directors, " that the dispatch of the ' Lively ' having 
been protracted from time to time, the accompanying 
address, which was originally designed and prepared 
for that dispatch, aT^d no other tince oeeurring, has of 
course been thus long delayed." 

The Govornor-General's letter is dated the 22d 
May, and the " Resolution " was the last ship o the 
seuson dispatched for Europ«. The public lettc rs to 
the Directors are dated the 9th May ; bu it appears 
by the letter of the commander of the ?hip that lO 
did not receive his dispatches from Mr. Lloyd, then 
at Kedgeree, until the 26th May, and also that the 
pilot was not discharged from the sliip until the 
11th June. Some of these presents (now for the first 
time acknowledged) had been received eighteen 
months preceding the date of this letter, — none less 
than four months ; so that, in fact, he might have 
sent this account by all the ships of that season ; but 
tiie Governor-General chose to write this letter thir- 
teen days after the letermination in Council for * y 
dispatch of the last ship. 

It does not appear that he has given any ;ommuni- 
cation whatsoever to iiis colleagues in off ^ of ose 
extraordinary transactions. Nothing apj>ear= ■. the 
records of the Council of the receipt of the ^ onts ; 
nor is the transmission of "his account mentic led in 
the general letter ti the Court ot Directors, bu in a 


letter fip<«n i mself to their Secret '^or? mittee, con- 
^tiii g«ie y of tw persons, but ; ' most of three. 
It is to be ob^-rved tl; r tlio Oovernoi loneral stati , 
" that tiie dispatch of > ' Lively ' hati been protract- 
ed ftotu time to time ; > lat this delay was of no put>- 
lie conNequeuce; but that it prociuco' u situa ioa 
whicii with rejpect to himself he refrirded a>> ui r- 
tunate, l)ccause it exposed him to the meam t .m- 
putations, from the occasion which tiie ate Jl^'iU'li^i- 
mentary inquiries have smce {m bed, but whicn 
W'jre unknown when It '^ letter wu Uten." If ti 
Governo General thou^'ht h' silencu exposed him to 
tlte mf.antnt imputation*, he I id the me; in his own 
power of voiding those impt atims : i 
sent this I. ter, dated the 22d ly, b 
tii^ .. For we find, that, in lottT i 

Poynting, of the 2( h 
for him to proceed to 
safety without a sapr * 
»4.o8t earnestly requt ■ 
Calcutta ; and on tli 
from the Secr<»u.. of 

liight have 

ae Resolu- 

1 Captain 

' possible 

, tegree of 

Ma ti Stat' it 
ea «! ., Liie smalk 
y anchorH and c»ble8, and 
•^ icy iu ■/ be supplied from 
zath May we find a minute 
le Council, Mr. Auriol, re- 

questing an orser o Cf»uucii *o the master-attendant 
to furnish a si p o carry d jv/u those cables ; which 

order was atcor>iingi i 
There requires no 'u 
ei or-General ha< 
St en d:j8 after he 
near seven t'jnths, uiu 
offered. Your Conimitti; 

^'iuf'd on the 80th May. 
to show that the Gov- 
ans of sending this letter 
;, instead of dei lying it for 
3cause no conveyance had 
must also remark, fliat 

the converance by land to Madras was ct-rtain ; ai d 
whilst such important operations were carrying o , 
both by sea an'l land, upon the coast, that dispatches 
would be seat o t' o Admiralty or to the Company 
was highly probaoiu. 


If the letter of the 22d May had been found in 
the list of packets sent by the Resolution, the Got< 
ernor General would have established in a satisfac< 
tory manner, and far beyond the effect of any affida- 
vit, that the letter had been written at the time of 
the date. It appears that the Resolution, being on 
her voyage to England, met with so severe a gale 
of wind as to be obliged to put back to Bengal, and 
to unload her cargo. This event makes no difference 
in the state of the transaction. Whatever the cause 
of these new discoveries might have been, at the time 
of sending them the fact of the Parliamentary inquiry 
was publicly known. 

In the letter of the above date Mr. Hastings la- 
ments the mortification of being reduced to take pre- 
cautions " to guard his reputation from dishonor." 
— "If I had," says he, " at any time possessed that 
degree of confidence from my immediate employers 
which they hav3 never withheld from the meanest 
of my predecessors, I should have disdained to use 
these attentions." 

Who the meanest of Mr. Hastings's predecessoi-s 
were does not appear to your Committee; nor are 
they able to discern the ground of propriety or decen- 
cy for his assuming to himself a right to call any of 
them mean persons. But if such mean persons have 
possessed that degree of confidence from his immedi- 
ate employers which for so many years he had not 
possessed " ai any time" inferences must be drawn 
from thence very unfavorable to one or the other of 
the parties, or perhaps to both. The attentions which 
he practises and disdains can in this case be of no 
service to himself, his employers, or the public ; the 
only attention at all effectual towards extenuating, 



or in some degree atoning for, the guilt of having 
taken money from individuals illegally was to be full 
and fair in his confession of all the particulars of his 
offence. This might not obtain that confidence which 
at no time he has enjoyed, but still the Company and 
the nation might derive essential benefit from it ; the 
Directors might oe able to afford redress to the suf- 
ferers; and by his laying open the concealed chan- 
nels of abuse, means might be furnished for the better 
discovery, and possibly for the prevention, or at least 
for the restraint, of u practice of the most dangerous 
nature, — a practice of which the mere prohibition, 
without the means of detection, must ever prove, as 
hitherto it had proved, altogether frivolous. 

Your Committee, considering that so long a time 
had elapsed without any of that information which 
the Directors expected, and perceiving that this re- 
ceipt of sums of money under color of gift seemed a 
growing evil, ordered the attendance of Mr. Hastings's 
agent. Major Scott. They had found, on former oc- 
casions, that this gentleman was furnished with much 
more early and more complete intelligence of the 
Company's affairs in India than was thought proper 
for the Court of Directors ; they therefore examined 
him concerning every particular sum of money the 
receipt of which Mr. Hastings had confessed in his 
account. It was to their surprise that Mr. Scoot pro- 
fessed himself perfectly uninstructed upon almost 
every part of the subject, though the express object 
of his mission to England was to clear up such mat- 
ters as might be objected to Mr. Hastings ; and for 
that purpose he had early qualified himself by the 
production to your Committee of his powers of agen- 
oy. The ignorance in which Mr. Hastings had left 








i'l- >' 

'': \^,l 


his agent was the more striking, because he must 
have been morally certain, that, if his conduct in 
these points should have escaped animadversion from 
the Court of Directors, it must become an object of 
Parliamentary inquiry ; for, in his letter of the 15th 
[16th ?] of December, 1782, to the Court of Directors, 
he expressly mentions his fears that those Parliament 
tary inquiries might be thought to have extorted from 
him the confessions which he had made. 

Your Committee, however, entering on a more 
strict examination concerning the two lacs of rupees, 
which Mr. Hastings declares he had no right to take, 
but had taken from some person then unknown, 
Major Scott recollected that Mr. Hastings had, in a 
letter of the 7th of December, 1782, (in which he re- 
fers to some former letter,) acquainted him with the 
name of the person from whom he had received these 
two lacs of rupees, mentioned in the minute of Jime, 
1780. It turned out to be the Rajah of Benares, the 
unfortunate Cheyt Sing. 

In the single instance in which Mr. Scott seemed 
to possess intelligence in this matter, he is pre- 
ferred to the Court of Directors. Under their cen- 
sure as Mr. Hastings was, and as he felt himself 
to be, for not informing them of the channel in 
which he received that money, he perseveres obsti- 
nately and contemptuously to conceal it from them ; 
though he thought fit to intrust his agent with the 

Your Committee were extremely struck with this 
intelligence. They were totally unacquainted with 
li, when they presented to the House the Supple- 
ment to their Second ivcport, on the affairs of Cheyt 
Sing. A gift received by Mr. Hastings from the 






Rajah of Benares gave rise in their minds to seri- 
ous reflections on the condition of the princes of 
India subjected to the British authority. Mr. Hast* 
ings was, at the very time of his receiving this 
gift, in the course of making on the Rajah of Be- 
nares a series of demands, unfounded and unjusti- 
fiable, and constantly growing in proportion as they 
were submitted to. To these demands the Rajah 
of Benares, besides his objections in point of right, 
constantly set up a plea of poverty. Presents from 
persons who hold up poverty as a shield against 
extortion can scarcely in any case be considered as 
gratuitous, whether the plea of poverty be true or 
false. In this case the presents might have been 
bestowed, if not with an assurance, at least with a 
rational hope, of some mitigation in the oppressive 
requisitions that were made by Mr. Hastings ; for to 
give much voluntarily, when it is known that much 
will be taken away forcibly, is a thing absurd and 
impossible. On the other [one ?] hand, the accept- 
ance of that gift by Mr Hastings must have pledged 
a tacit faith for some degree of indulgence towards 
the donor : if it was a free gift, gratitude, if it was 
a bargain, justice obliged him to do it. If, on tlie 
other hand, Mr. Hastings originally destined (as 
he says he did) this money, given to himself se- 
cretly and i >r his private emolument, to the use 
of the Company, the Company's favor, to whom he 
acted as trustee, ought to have been purchased by 
it. In honor and justice he bound and pledged 
himself for that power which was to profit by the 
gift, and to profit, too, in the success of an expe- 
dition which Mr. Hastings thought so necessary to 
their aggrandizement. The unhappy man found Lis 

■ r. 


i I !« 


/' '^ 

li .'( 


money accepted, but no favor acquired on the part 
either of the Company or of Mr. Hastings. 

Your Committee have, in another Report, stated to 
the House that Mr. Hastings attributed the extremity 
of distress which the detachments under Colonel Ca- 
mac had suffered, and the great desertions which en- 
sued on that expedition, to the want of punctuality 
of the Rajah in making payment of one of the sums 
which had been extorted from him ; and this want 
of punctual payment was afterwards assigned as a 
principal reason for the ruin of tliis prince. Your 
Committee have shown to the House, by a comparison 
of facts and dates, that this charge is wholly witliout 
foundation. But if the cause of Colonel Camac's fail- 
ure had been true as to the sum which was tlie object 
of the public demand, the failure could not be attrib- 
uted to the Rajah, when he had on the instant private- 
ly furnished at least 23,000^ to Mr. Hastings, — that 
is, furnished the identical money which he tells us 
(but carefully concealing the name of the giver) he 
had from the beginning destined, as he afterwards pub- 
licly offered, for this very expedition of Colonel Ca- 
mac's. The complication of fraud and cruelty in the 
transaction admits of few parallels. Mr. Hastings at 
the Council Board of Bengal displays himself as a zeal- 
ous servant of the Company, bountifully giving Irom 
his own fortune, and in his letter to the Directors (as 
he says himself) as going out of the ordinary roads 
for their advantage ; * and all this on the credit of 
supplies derived from the gift of a man whom he treats 
with the utmost severity, and whom he accuses, in 
this particular, of disaffection to the Company's cause 
and interests. 

• Vide Appendix B. No. 1. 

R.' -Kr 



"With 28,000Z. of the Rajah's money in his pocket, 
he persecutes him to his destruction, — assigning for 
a reason, that his reliance on the Rajah's faith, and 
his breach of it, were the principal causes that no oth- 
er provision was made for the detachment on the spe- 
cific expedition to which the Rajah's specific money 
was to be applied. The Rajah had given it to be dis- 
posed of by Mr. Hastings ; and if it was not disposed 
of in the best manner for the accomplishing liis ob- 
jects, the accuser himself is the criminal. 

To take money for the forbearance of a just de- 
mand would have been corrupt only ; but to urge 
ui\just public demands, — to accept private pecuniary 
favors in the course of those demands, — and, on the 
pretence of delay or refusal, without mercy to perse- 
cute a benefactor, — to refuse to hear his remonstran- 
ces, — to arrest him in his capital, in his palace, ii< 'ho 
face of all the people, — thus to give occasion i an 
insurrection, and, on pretext of that insurrection, to 
refuse all treaty or explanation, — to drive him from 
his government and his country, — to proscribe him 
in a general amnesty, — and to send him all over 
India a fugitive, to publish the shame of British gov- 
ernment in all the nations to whom he successively 
fled *br refuge, — these are proceedings to which, for 
the honor of human nature, it is hoped few parallels 
are to be found in history, and in which the illegality 
and con* ption of the acts form the smallest part of 
the mischief. 

Such is the account of the first sum eonfetsed to be 
taken as a present by Mr. Hastings, since the year 
1775 ; and such are its consequences. Mr. Hastings 
apolog'zes for this action by declaring " that he would 
not have received the money but for the occcuum, 

> "I 


ii 1 






/' '.' 

which prompted him to avail himself of the accideii« 
tal means which were at that instant afforded him of 
accepting and converting it to the use of the Compa- 
ny." • B7 this account, he considers the act aa ex- 
cusable only by the particular occasion, by the temp- 
tation of accidental means, and by the suggestion of 
the instant. How far this is the case appears by tlie 
very next paragraph of this letter in which the ac- 
count is given and in which the apology is made. If 
these were his sentiments in June, 1780, tliey lasted 
but a very short time : his accidental means appear 
to be growing habitual. 

To point out in a clear manner the spirit of the 
second money transaction to which your Committee 
adverted, which is represented by Mr. Hastings as 
having some "aflSnity with the former anecdote," \ 
(for in this light kind of phrase he chooses to ex- 
press himself to his masters,) your Committee think 
it necessary to state 10 the House, that the business, 
namely, this business, which was the second object of 
their inquiry, appears in three different papers and 
in three different lights : on comparing of these au- 
thorities, in every one of which Mr. Hastings is him- 
self the voucher, if one of the three be true, the other 
two must necessarily be false. 

These three authorities, which your Committee has 
accurately compared, are, first, his minutes on the 
Consultations ; j secondly, his letter to the Court of 
Directors on the 29th of November, 1780 ; § thirdly, 
his account, transmitted on the 16th of December, 

About eight months after the first transaction rela- 

* Vide Appendix B. No. I. 
S Ibid., Na 1. 

t Ibid. t Ibid., No. 8. 

U Ibid., No. 4. 



tive to Cheyt Sing, and which is just reported, that is, 
on the 6th of January, 1781, Mr. Hastings produced a 
demand to the Council for money of his own expended 
for the Company's service.* Here was no occasion 
for secrecy. Mr. Francis was on his passage to Eu- 
rope ; Mr. Wheler was alone left, who no longer dis- 
sented from anything; Mr. Hastings was in effect 
himself the whole Council. He declared that he 
had disbursed throe lacs of rupees, that is, thirty- 
four thousand five hundred pounds, in secret ser- 
vices, — which having, he says, " been advanced from 
my oum private cash, I request that the same may be 
repaid to me in the following manner." He accord- 
ingly desires three bonds, for a lac of Sicca rupees 
each, to be given to him in two of the Company's 
subscriptions, — one to bear interest on the eight pt. 
cent loan, the other two in the four per cent: the 
bonds were antedated to the beginning of the preced- 
ing October. On the 9th of the same month, that 
is, on the 9th of January, 1781, the three bonds were 
accordingly ordered.f So far the whole transaction 
appears clear, and of a piece. Private money is sub- 
scribed, and a public security is taken for it. When 
the Company's Treasury accounts f are compared with 
the proceedings of their Council-General, a perfect cor- 
respondence also appears. The three bonds are then 
[there ?] entered to Mr. Hastings, and he is credited 
for principal and interest on them, in the exact terms 
of the order. So far the official accounts, — which, 
because of their perfect harmony, are considered as 
clear and consistent evidence to one body of fact. 

The second sort of document relative to these bonds 
(though the first in order of time) is Mr. Hastings's 

\ . i'- 


.' 1' 

• Appendix B. No. 8. 


\ Ibid., No. 9. 



' ! 


letter of the 29th of November, 1780.* It is written 
between the time of the expenditure of the money 
for tlie Company's use and the taking of the bonds. 
Here, for the first time, a very material difference ap- 
pears; and the difference is the more striking, be- 
cause Mr. Hastings claimed the whole money as hia 
own, and took bonds for it as such, q/ier this repre- 
sentation. The letter to the Company discovers that 
part of tlie money (the whole of which he had de- 
clared on record to be his own, and for which he had 
taken bonds) was not his, but the property of his mas- 
ters, from whom he had taken the security. It is no 
less remarkable that the letter which represents the 
money as belonging to the Company was written 
about six weeks before the Minute of Council in 
which he claims that money as his own. It is this 
letter on which your Committee is to remark. 

Mr. Hastings, after giving his reasons for the ap- 
plication of the three lacs of rupees, and for his hav- 
ing for some time concealed the fact, says, "Two 
thirds of that sum I have raised iy mi/ own credit, and 
shall charge it in my official accoun (he other third 
I have supplied from the cash in my , .iids belonging 
to the Honorable Company." f 

The House will observe, that in November he tells 
the Directors that he shall charge only two thirds in 
his official accounts; in the following January he 
charges the whole.X For the other third, although he 
admitted that to belong to the Company, we have 
Been that he takes a bond to himself. 

It is material that he tells the Company in his let- 
ter that these two lacs of rupees were raised on his 
credit. His letter to the Council says that they were 

f «'. 

• Appendix B. No. 1. 

t Ibid. 

t Ibid., No. 8. 



advanced from his private cash. What he raises on 
his credit may, on a fair construction, be considered 
as his own : but in this, too, he fails ; for it is certain 
he has never transferred these bonds to anj creditor ; 
nor has he stated any sum he has paid, or for which 
he stands indebted, on that account, to any spccifio 
person. Indeed, it was out of his power ; for the first 
two thirds of the money, which he formerly stated as 
raised upon his credit, he now confesses to have been 
from the beginning the Company's property, and 
therefore could not have been raised on his private 
credit, or borrowed from any person whatsoever. 

To these two accounts, thus essentially varying, he 
has added a third,* varying at least as essentially 
from both. In his last or third account, which is a 
statement of all the sums he has received in an ex- 
traordinary manner, and confessed to be the Compa- 
ny's property, he reverses the items of his first ac- 
count, and, instead of allowing the Company but one 
third and claiming two thirds for himself, he enters 
two of the bonds, each for a lac of rupees, as belong- 
ing to the Company : of the third bond, which appears 
so distinctly in the Consultations and in the Treasury 
accounts, not one word is said ; ten thousand pounds 
is absorbed, sinks, and disappears at once, and no 
explanation whatsoever concerning it is given ; Mr. 
Hastings seems not yet to have decided to whose ac- 
count it ought to be placed. In this manner his debt 
to the Company, or the Company's to him, is just 
what he thinks fit. In a single article he has varied 
three times. In one account he states the whole to 

♦ Appendix B. No. 4 : The Goremor-Qeneral's Acconnt of Mon- 
eys received, dated 23d May, 1782. Also, Appendix B. No. 9: 
The Auditor's Account of Bonds granted to the Goremor-Creneral. 



be his own ; in another he claims two thirds ; in the 
last he gives up the claim of the two thirds, and says 
nothing to the remaining portion. 

To make amends, however, for the suppression of 
this third bond, given with the two others in January, 
1781, and antedated to the beginning of October, 
Mr. Hastings, in the above-mentioned general ac- 
count subjoined to his letter of the 22d May, 1782, 
has brought to the Company's credit a new bond.* 

This bond is for 17,000^. It was taken from the 
Company (and so it appears on their Treasury ac- 
counts) on the 23d of November, 1780. He took no 
notice of this, when, in January following, he called 
upon his own Council for the three others. What is 
more extraordinary, he was equally silent with regard 
to it, when, only six days after its date, he wrote con- 
cerning the subject of the three other bonds to the 
Court of Directors ; yet now it comes out, that that 
bond also was taken by Mr. Hastings from the Com- 
pany for money which he declares he had received on 
the Company's account, and that he entered himself 
as creditor when he ought to have made himself 

Your Committee examined Major Scott concerning 
this money, which Mr. Hastings must have obtained 
in some clandestine and irregular mode ; but they 
could obtain no information of the persons from 
wliora it was taken, nor of the occasion or pretence 
of taking this large sum; nor does any Minute of 
Council appear for its application to any service. The 
whole of the transaction, whatever it was, relative 
to this bond, is covered with the thickest obscurity. 

Mr. Hastings, to palliate the blame of his conduct, 

* Vide Appendix B. No. 4. 



declares that ho has not rec(;ived any interest on these 
bonds, — and that ho has indorsed them as not bo- 
longuig to himself, but to the Company.* As to the 
first part of this allegation, whetiier ho received the 
interest or lot it remain ia arroar is a matter of in- 
difference, as ho entitled himself to it ; and so far as 
tlio legal security he has taken goes, he may, when- 
ever ho pleases, dispose both of principal and interest. 
What ho has indorsed on the bonds, or when ho made 
the indorsement, or whether in fact he has made it at 
all, are matters known only to himself; for the bonds 
must be in his possession, and are nowhere by him 
stated to be given up or cancelled, — which is a tiling 
very rofaarkable, when ho confesses that he had no 
right to receive them. 

These bonds make but a part of the account of pri- 
vate receipts of money by Mr. Hastings, formerly paid 
into the Treasury as his own property, and now al- 
lowed not to be so. This account brings into view 
other very remarkable matters of a similar nature 
and description.! 

In the public records, a sum of not less than 
23,871Z. is set to his credit as a deposit for his pri- 
vate account, paid in by him into the Treasury in 
gold, and coined at the Company's mint.J This ap- 
pears in the account furnished to the Directors, un- 
der the date of May, 1782, not to 1)0 lawfully his 
money, and he therefore transfers it to tlie Com- 
pany's credit: it still remains as a deposit.§ 

Tliat the House may bo apprised of tlie nature of 

• Vide Mr. Hastings's Account, in Appendix B. No. 4. 
t Vide Hastings's Account, dated 22d May, 1782, in Appendix 
B. No. 4. 

X Vide above Appendix, and B. No. 2. 
VOL. VIII. 16 


§ Vide above Appendix. 



tliis article of deposit, it may not bo improper to state 
that tlic Company recinvo into tlieir treasury tlio cash 
of private persons, pluccd there as in a bank. On 
this no interest is paid, and the party depositing has 
a right to receive it upon demand. Under this head 
of account no public money is over entered. Mr. 
Hastings, neither at making the deposit as his own, 
nor at tlie time of his disclosure of the real proprie- 
tor, (which ho makes to bo the Compa-iy,) has given 
uuy information of the persons from whom this mon- 
ey had been received. Mr. Scott was applied to by 
your Committee, but could not give any more satis- 
faction in this particular than in those relative to the 

Tiie title of the accoi 'it of tho 22d of May pur- 
ports not only that thos«' ouras were paid uito the 
Company's treasury by Mr. Hastings's order, but that 
they were applied to tli" Company's service. No 
service is specified, directly or by any reference, to 
which this great sum of money has been applied. 

Two extraordinary articles follow this, in the May 
account, amounting to about 29,000Z.* These arti- 
cles are called Receipts for Durbar Charges. Tlie 
general head of Durbar Charges, made by persons in 
office, when analyzed into the particulars, contains 
various expenses, including bounties and presents 
made by government, chiefly in the foreign depart- 
ment. But in the last account he confesses that this 
sum also is not his, but the Company's projierty ; but 
as in all the rest, so in this, l;e carefully conceals the 
means by which he acquired tho money, tlie time of 
his taking it, and the persons from whom it was 
taken. This is the more extraordinary, b'XTause, in 

• Vide Appendix B. No. 4 



looking over the joimial'4 and ledsrcrs of tlie Treasury, 
the pres'iits njcoived i id carrii i| to thu accoui»t of 
the Comp.'! y (which woro gcnerilly Mnall and coin- 
pliraenLih .010 prRcij-ly oiitercJ, with tlic name of 
the giver. 

Your Commit^' on turning to tiio account of 
Dur'.ar charges in tlic 1,.,!,., :■ of thjil month, find tlie 
sum, as stated in tlio account of May '22(1, to l)e in- 
deed paid in ; but tliero is no specific application 
wliatsocver f'ntored. 

The account of the whole money thus clandestinely 
received, as stated on the 2l'd of May, 1782, (and 
for a great pa ; of whirh Mr. Hastings to that timA 
tools credit for, and for tlio rest has accounted in an 
extraordinary manner as his own,) amounts in tlie 
whole to upwards of ninety-tliree tliousand pounds 
sterling: a vast sum to be so cbtained, and so loosely 
accounted for ! If the money taken from tlie Rajah 
of Benares be added, (as it ouglit,) it will raise the 
sum to upwards of 110,000^ ; if the 11,000^. bond in 
October be added, it will bo upwards of 12S,c00/. re- 
ceived in a secret manner by Mr. Hastings in about 
one year and five months. To all these he adds an- 
otlier sum of one hundred tliousand pounds, received 
as a present from the Subah of Oude. Total, up- 
wards of 228,000^. 

Yotir Committee find that this last is the only sum 
the giver of wliich Mr. Hastings has thought proper 
to declare. It is to be observed, that lie did not re- 
ceive 1: IS 100,000^ in money, but in bills on a great 
native money-dealer resident at Benares, and who has 
also an house at Calcutta: he is called Gopal Diis. 
The negotiation of these bills tended to make a dis- 
covery not so difficult as it would have been in other 









With regard to the application of this last sum of 
money, »«rlnch is said to be carried to the Durbar 
charges of April, 1782, your Committee are not en- 
abled to make any observations on it, as the account 
of that period has not yet arrived. 

Your Committee have, in another Report, re- 
marked fully upon most of the circumstances of this 
extraordinary transaction. Here they only bring so 
much of these circumstances again into view as may 
serve to throw light upon the true nature of the sums 
of money taken by British subjects in power, under 
the name of presents, and to show how far they are 
entitled to that description in any sense which can 
fairly imply in the pretended donors either willing- 
ness or ability to give. The condition of the bounti- 
ful parties who are not yet discovered may be con- 
jectured from the state of those who have been made 
known : as far as that state anywhere appears, their 
generosity is found in proportion, not to the opulence 
they possess or to the favors they receive, but to the 
indigence they feel and the insults they are exposed 
to. The House will particularly attend to the situar 
tion of the priucipai giver, the Subah of Oude. 

"When the knife," says he, "had penetrated to 
the bone, and I was surrounded with such heavy dis- 
tresses that I could no longer live in expectations, 
I wrote you an account of my difficulties. 

" Tlie answer which I have received to it is such 
that it has given me inexpressible grief and affliction. 
I never had the least idea or expectation from you and 
the Council that you would ever have given your 
orders in so afflicting a manner, in which you never 
before wrote, and which I could not have imagined. 
As I am resolved to ohey your orders, and directions 



of the Council, ■without any delay, as long as I live, I 
hare, agreeably to those orders, delivered up all my 
private papers to him [the Resident], that, when he 
shall have examined my receipts and expenses, he may 
take whatever remains. As I know it to be my duty 
to satisfy you, the Company, and Council, I have not 
failed to obey in any instance, but requested of him 
that it might be done so as not to diKtress me in my 
necessary expenses: there being no other funds but 
those for the expenses of my mutseddies, household 
expenses, and servants, &c. He demanded these iu 
such a manner, that, being remediless, I was obliged 
to comply with what he required. He has accord- 
ingly stopped the pensions of my old servants for thirty 
years, whether sepoys, mutseddies, or household servants, 
and the expenses of my family and kitchen, together with 
thejaghires of my grandmother, mother, and aunts, and 
of my brothers and dependants, which were for their sup- 
port. I had raised thirteen hundred horse and tlirce 
battalions of sepoys to attend upon me ; but as I have 
no resources to support them, I have been obliged to 
remove the people stationed in the mahals [districts] 
and to send his people [the Resident's people] into 
the mahals, so that I have not now one single ser- 
vant about me. Should I mention to what further 
difficulties I have been reduced, it would lay mc open 
to contempt." 

In other parts of this long remonstrance, as well as 
in other remonstrances no less serious, he says, " that 
it is difficult for him to save himself alive ; that in all 
his alTairs Mr. Hastings had given full powers to the 
gentlemen here,'" (meaning the English Resident and 
Assistants,) " who have done whatever they chose, and 
still continue to do it. I never expected that you would 




have brought me into such apprehension, and into so 
weak a state, without writing to me on any one of those 
tiuhjects; since I have not the smallest connection with 
anybody except yourself. I am in such distress, both 
day and night, that I see not the smallest prospect 
of deliverance from it, since you are so displeased 
with me as not to honor me tcith a single letter." 

In another remonstrance he thus expresses him- 
self. " The affairs of this world are unstable, and 
soon pass away : it would therefore be incuml)ont 
on the UnglinJi gentlemen to show some friendship 
for mo in my necessities, — I, who have always ex- 
erted my very life in the service of the English, as- 
signed over to them all the resources left in my country, 
stopped my very household expenses, together with 
the jaghires of my servants and dependants, to the 
amount of 98,98,375 rupees. Besides this, as to the 
jaghires of my grandmother, mother, and uncle, which 
were granted to them for their sui)port, agreeable to 
engagements, you are the masters, — if the Council 
have sent orders for the stopping their jaghires also, 
stop them. I have no resources loft in my country, 
and liave no friends by me, being even distressed in 
my daily subsistence. I have some elephants, horses, 
and the houses which I inhabit : if tliey can be of any 
service to my friends, they are ready. Whenever you 
can discover any resources, seize upon tliem : I shall 
not interfere to prevent you. In my present distress 
for my daily expenses, I was in hopes that thoy would 
have excused some part of my debt. Of what use is 
it for me to I'elate my situation, which is known to 
the whole world ? This much is sufficient." 

The truth of all these representations is nowhere 
contested by Mr. Hastings. It is, indeed, admitted in 



Bomethiug stronger than words; for, upon account 
of the Nabob's condition, and the no less distressed 
condition of his dominions, he thought it fit to with- 
draw from him and them a largo body of the Compa- 
ny's troops, together with all the English of a civil 
description, who were found no less burdensome than 
the military. This was done on the declarod inabil- 
ity of the country any longer to support them, — a 
country not much inferior to England in extent and 
fertility, and, till lately at least, its equal in population 
and culture. 

It was to a prince, in a state so far remote from 
freedom, outhority, and opulence, so penetrated with 
the treatment he had received, and the behavior he 
had met with from Mr. Hastings, that Mr. Hastings 
has chosen to attribute a disposition so very generous 
and munificent as, of his own free grace and mere 
motion, to make him a present, at one donation, of 
upwards of one hundred thousand pounds sterling. 
This vast private donation was given at the moment 
of vost instant demands severely exacted on account 
of the Company, and accumulated on immense debts 
to the same body, — and all taken from a ruined 
prince and almost desolated territory. 

Mr. Hastings has had the firmness, with all possible 
ease and apparent unconcern, to request jjcrmission 
from the Directors to legalize this forlii<lden present 
for his own use. This he has had the courage to do 
at a time when he liad abundant reason to look for 
what he lias since received, — their cens'.'.re for many 
material i)arts of his conduct towmds the people from 
whose wasted substance this pretended free gift was 
drawn. He docs not pretend that he has reason to 
expect the smallest degree of partiality , in this or any 




h i 


Other point, from the Court of Directors. For, besides 
his complaint, first stated, of having never possessed 
their confidence, in a late letter * (in which, notwith- 
standing the censures of Parliament, ho magnifies his 
own conduct) he says, that, in all the long period 
of his service, " he has almost unremittedly wanted 
the support which all his predecessors had enjoyed 
from their constituents. From mine," says he, " I 
have received nothing but reproach, hard epithets, and 
indigtutlea, instead of rewards and encouragement." 
It must therefore have been from some other source 
of protection than that which the law had placed over 
him that )'e looked for countenance and reward in 
violating an act of Parliament which forbid him 
from taking gifts or presents on any account tchatso- 
ever, — much less a gift of this magnitude, which, 
from the distress of the giver, must be supposed the 
effect of the most cruel extortion. 

The Directors did wrong in their orders to ap- 
propriate money, which they must know could not 
have been acquired by tlio consent of the pretended 
donor, to their own use.f They acted more prop- 
erly in refusing to confirm tliis grant to Mr. Hastings, 
and in choosing rather to refer him to the law which 
he liad violated than to his own sense of what he 
thouglit he was entitled to lake from the natives : 
putthig Iiim in mind tiiat tlie Regulating Act had ex- 
pressly declared •• that no Governor-General, or any 
of the Council, shall, directly or indirectly, accept, re- 
ceive, or take, of or from any person or persons, or on 
any account whatsoever, any present, gift, donation, 
gratuity, or reward, pecuniary or otliurwise, or any 
promise or engagement for any of the aforesaid." 

* Vide Appendix B. \o. 6. t Ibid., Ko. 7. 



*: f i-^ 



Here is no reserve for tho case of a disclosure to the 
Directors, and for the legali::iiig the breach of an act 
of Parliament by their subsequent consent. The ille- 
gality attaclied to the action at its very commence- 
ment, and it could never be afterwards legalized: 
the Directors had no such power reserved to them. 
"Words cannot be devised of a stronger import or 
studied with more care. To these words of the act 
are opposed the declaration and conduct of Mr. Hast- 
ings, who, in his letter of January, 1T82, thinks fit to 
declare, that " an offer of a very considerable sum of 
money was made to liim, both on tho part of tlie Na- 
bob and his ministers, as a present, which he accepted 
without hesitation.'' The plea of his pretended ne- 
cessity is of no avail. Tho present was not in ready 
money, nor, as your Committee conceive, applicable 
to his immediate necessities. Even his credit was 
not bettered by bills at long periods ; he does not pre- 
tend that lie raised any money upon them ; nor is it 
conceivable that a banker at Benai.-s would be more 
willing to honor the drafts of so miserable, undone, 
and dependent a person as tlie Nabob of Oude than 
those of the Governor-General of Bengal, which 
might be paid citlicr on the receipt of the Benares 
revenue, or at tlie seat of his power, and of the Com- 
pany's exchequer. Besides, it is not explicable, upon 
any grounds that can be avowed, why the Nabob, 
who could afford to give these bills as a present to 
Mr. Hastings, could not have equally given them in 
discharge of tlie debt which he owed to the Company. 
It is, indeed, very much to be feared that the people 
of India find it sometimes turn more to their account 
to give presents to the English in authority than to 
pay their debts to the public : and this is a matter of 
a very serious consideration. 










No small merit is made by Mr. Hastings, and that, 
too, in a high and upbraiding stylo, of his having 
come to a voluntary discovery of this and other un- 
lawful practices of the same kind. " That honorable 
court, " says Mr. Hastings, addressing himself to his 
masters, in his letter of December, 1782, " ought to 
know whether I possess the integrity and honor 
which are the first requisites of such a station. If 
I wanted these, they have afforded me too powerful 
incentives to suppress the information which I now 
convey to them through you, and to appropriate to 
my own use the sums which I have already passed 
to their credit, by their umcorthy, and pardon mo if I 
add dangerous reflections, which they have passed upon 
me for the first communication of this kind " ; and 
he immediately adds, what is singular and striking, 
and savors of a recriminatory insinuation, " and your 
own experience will suggest to you that there are 
persons who would profit by such a warning." * To 
what Directors in particular this imputation of expe- 
rience is apjtlied, and what other persons they are in 
whom experience has shown a disposition to profit of 
such a warning, is a matter highly proper to bo in- 
quired into. What Mr. Hastings says further on this 
subject is no less worthy of attention : — " that he 
could have concealed these transactions, if he had a 
wrong motive, from theirs and the public eye forever.^'' f 
It is undoubtedly true, that, whether the observation 
be applicable to the particular case or not, practices 
of tliis corrupt nature are extremely difficult of de- 
tection anywhere, but especially in India ; but all 
restraint upon that grand fundamental abuse of pres- 
ents is gone forever, if the servants of the Company 

• Vido Appendix B. No. 6. t Ibid. 



can derive safety from a defiance of the law, when 
they can no longer hope to screen themselves by an 
evasion of it. All hope of reformation is at an end, 
if, confiding in the force of a faction among Directors 
or proprietors to bear them out, and possibly to vote 
them the fruit of their crimes as a reward of their dis- 
covery, they find that their bold avowal of their of- 
fences is not only to produce indemnity, but to bo 
rated for merit. If once a presumption is admitted, 
that, wherever something is divulged, nothing is hid, 
the discovering of one offence may become the cer- 
tain means of concealing a multitude of others. The 
contrivance is easy and trivial, and lies open to the 
meanest proficient in this kind of art; it will not 
only become an effectual cover to such practices, but 
will tend infinitely to increase them. In that case, 
sums of money will be taken for the purpose of dis- 
covery and making merit with the Company, and 
other sums will be taken for the private advantage of 
the receiver. 

It must certainly be impossible for the natives to 
know what presents are for one purpose, or what for 
the other. It is not for a Gcntoo or a Mahometan 
landholder at the foot of the remotest mountains in 
India, who has no access to our records and knows 
nothing of our language, to distinguish what lacs of 
rupees, which he has given eo nomine as a present 
to a Company's servant, are to be autliorizcd by his 
masters in Leadcnhall Street as proper and legal, or 
carried to their public account at their pleasure, and 
what are laid up ibr his own emolument. 

The legislature, in declaring all presents to be the 
property of the Company, could not consider corrup- 
tion, extortion, and fraud as any part of their re- 



sources. The property in such presents was declared 
to be theirs, not as a fund for their benefit, but in 
order to found a legal title to a civil suit. It was 
declared theirs, to facilitate the recovery out of cor- 
rupt and oppressive hands of money illegally taken ; 
but this legal fiction of property could not nor ought 
by the legislature to be considered in any other liglit 
than as a trust held by them for those who suffered 
the injury. Upon any other construction, the Com- 
pany would have a right, first, to extract money from 
the subjects or dependants of this kingdom commit- 
ted to their care, by means of particular conventions, 
or by taxes, by rents, and by monopolies ; and when 
they had exhausted every contrivance of public im- 
position, then they were to be at liberty to let loope 
upon the people all their servants, from the highest 
rank to tlie lowest, to prey upon them w-, pleasure, 
and to draw, by personal and official authority, by 
influence, venality, and terror, whatever was left to 
them, — and that all this was justified, provided the 
product was paid into the Company's exc'i.eqiier. 

This prohibition and permission of presents, with 
this declaration of property in the Comj)any, would 
leave no property to any man in India. If, however, 
it should be thought that this clause in tlie act* 
should be capable, by construction and retrospect, of 
so legalizing and thus appropriating tiiose presents, 
(wliich your Committee conceive impossible.) it is 
absolutely necessary that it should bu very fully ex- 

The provision in the act was made in favor of the 
natives. If such construction prevails, tlie provision 
made as their screen from oppression will become 

• Act 13 Geo. III. cap 63. 



the means of increasing and aggravating it without 
bounds and beyond remody . If prcbcnts, wliicb when 
they are given were unlawful, can afterwards be le- 
galized by an application of them to the Company's 
service, no sufferer can even rcsor* to a remedial 
process at law for his own relief. The ipomcnt he 
attempts to sue, the raonoy may bo paid into the 
Company's treasury ; it is then lawfully taken, and 
the party is non-suited. 

The Company itself must suffer extremely in the 
whole order and regularity of tiioir public accounts, 
if the idea upon which Mr. Bastings justifies the 
taking of these presents rcceiios the smallest coun- 
tenance. On his principles, the same sum may be- 
come private property or public, at the pleasure of 
the receiver ; it is in his power, Mr. Hastings says, 
to conceal it forever.* Ho certauily has it in his 
power not only to keep it back and bring it forward 
at his own times, but even to shift and reverse the 
relations in the accounts (as Mr. Hastings has done) 
in what manner and proportion hcenis good to him, 
and to make him-^clf alternately debtor or creditor 
for the same sums. 

Of this irregularity Mr. Hastings himself appears 
in some degree sensible. He conceives it possible 
that his transactions of this nature may to the Court 
of Directors seem unsatislactory. He, however, puts 
it hypothetically : " If to you," says he, " who are ac- 
customed to view business in an official and regular 
light, they should appear unprecedented, if not im- 
proper.''' t lie just conceives it possible that in an 

• VIdo Mr. Hastings's Letter of 16 December, 1782, in Appendix 
B. No. 6. 

t Vide Appendix B. No. 6. 









official money transaction the Directors may expect 
a proceeding ofTicial and regular. In what other 
lights than those which are official and regular mat- 
ters of public account ought to be regarded by those 
who havo the charge of them, cither in Bengal or 
in England, docs not appear to your Committee. 
Any other is certainly " unprecedented and improp- 
er," and can only serro to cover fraud hoili in the 
receipt and in the expenditure. Tlio acquisition of 
58,000 rupees, or near GOOOL, which appears in the 
sort of unofficial and irregular account that ho fur- 
nishes of his presents, in liis letter of May, 1782,* 
must appear extraordinary indeed to thos-o who ex- 
pect from men in ofTico something official and some- 
thing regular. "This sum," says he, "I received 
while I was on my journey to Benares." f lie tells 
it with the same careless indifference as if things of 
this kind were found hy accident on the In'gh-road. 
Mr. Hastings did not, indeed he could not, doubt 
that this unprecedented and improper account would 
produce much discussion. lie says, " Why these 
sums were taken by mo, why they were (except the 
second) qnietly transferred to the Company's ac- 
count, wliy bonds were taken for the first and not 
for the rest, might, wer' tliis matter to bo exposed 
to the view of the public, furnish a variety of conjec- 
tures." t 

This matter has appeared, •■ .a has furnishod, as 
it ought to do, somctliing more serious than con- 
jectures. It would in any other case be supposed 
that Mr. Hastings, expecting sucii inquiries, and con- 
sidering tiiat the questions aro (even as tliey are im- 
perfectly stated by himself) far from frivolous, would 

• Vide Appendix B. No. 3. t Ibid. { Ibid. 



condescend to give some information upon them ; but 
the coiichision of a sentence so importantly begun, 
and which leads to such expectations, is, "that to 
these conjectures it would bo of little use to reply." 
This is all ho says to public conjecture. 

To the Court of Directors ho is very little more 
complaisant, and not at all more satisfactory ; he 
states merely as a supposition their inquiry concern- 
ing matters of which ho positively knew that they 
had called for an explanation. He know it, because 
he presumed to censure them for doing so. To the 
hypothesis of a further inquiry he gives a conjectural 
answer of such a kind as probably, in an account of 
a doubtful transaction, and to a superior, was never 
done before. 

"TT^re your Honorable Court to question me up- 
on these points, I would answer, that the sums were 
taken for the Company's benefit, at times in which 
the Company very much stood in need of thorn ; that 
I either cliose to conceal the first receipts from public 
curiosity by receiving bonds for the amount, or possi- 
bly acted without any studied design wliich my memory 
could at this distance of time verify." * 

He bore professes not to be certain of the motives 
by which lie was himself actuated in so extraordi- 
nary a concealment, and in the use of such extraor- 
dinary n^eans to efl'oct it; and as if the acts in ques- 
tion wore those of an absolute stranger, and not his 
own, he gives various loose conjectures concerning 
the motive to them. He even supposes, in taking 
presents contrary to law, and in taking bonds for 
them as his own, contrary to what he admits to 
be truth and fact, that he might have acted without 

• Vide Appendix B. No. S 

'|.| . VI 




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r^= Rocl-Mler. N«w York 14609 US* 

^= ("6) 482 - 0300 - Phon. 

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;! ''if' 

any distinct motive at all, or at least such as his 
memory could reach at that distance of time. That 
immense distance, in the faintness of which his rec- 
ollection is so completely lost as to set him guessing 
at his motives for his own conduct, was from the 
15th of January, 1781, when the bonds at his own 
request were given, to the date of this letter, which 
is the 22d of May, 1782, — that is to say, about one 
year and four months. 

As to the other sums, for which no bond was 
taken, the ground for the difference in his explana- 
tion is still more extraordinary : he says, " I did not 
think it worth my care to observe the same means 
with ilie rest." * The rest of these sums, which 
were not worth his care, are stated in his account 
to be greater than those he was so solicitous (for 
some reason which he cannot guess) to cover imder 
bonds : these sums amount to near 58,000Z. ; whereas 
the others did not much exceed 40,000?. For these 
actions, attended with these explanations, he ven- 
tures to appeal to their (the Directors') breasts for 
a candid interpretation, and "he assumes the free- 
dom to add, that he thinks himself, on such a sub- 
ject, and on such an occasion, entitled to it " ; f and 
then, as if he had performed some laudable exploit, 
in the accompanying letter he glories in tlio integ- 
rity of his conduct; and anticipating his triumph 
over injustice, and the applauses which at a future 
time he seems confident he shall receive, says he, 
" The applause of my own breast is my surest re- 
ward : your applause and that of my country is my 
next wish in life." J He declares in tliat very let- 
ter that he had not at any time possessed the confi- 

• Vide Appendix B. No. 3. f Ibid. J Ibid., No. 6. 




dencc with them which they never withheld from tlio 
meanest of his predecessors. With wishes so near 
his heart perpetually disappointed, and, instead of 
applauses, (as he tells us,) receiving nothing but 
reproaches and disgraceftil epithets, his steady con- 
tinuance for so many years in their service, in a 
place obnoxious in the highest degree to suspicion 
and censure, is a thing altogether singular. 

It appears very necessary to your Committee to 
observe upon tlie great leading principles which Mr. 
Hastings assumes, to justify the irregular taking of 
tlicse vast sums of money, and all the irregular 
moans he had employed to cover the greater part of 
it. These principles are the more necessary to be 
inquired into, because, if admitted, they will serve 
to justify every species of improper conduct. His 
worcls are, "that the sources from which these re- 
liefs to the public service have come would never 
liave yielded them to the Company puhlioJf/ ; and that 
the exigencies of their service (exigencies created 
by the exposition of their affairs, and faction in their 
divided councils) required those supplies." * 

As to the first of these extraordinary positions, 
your Committee cannot conceive what motive could 
actuate any native of India dependent on the Compa- 
ny, in assisting them privately, and in refusing to as- 
sist them publicly. If the transaction was fair and 
honest, every native must have been desirous of mak- 
ing merit with the great governing power. If he 
gave his money as a free gift, he might value himself 
upon very lionorable and very acceptable service ; if 
he lent it on the Company's bonds, it would still have 
been of service, and he might also receive eight per 

VOL. vm. 

* Vide Appendix B. No. 6. 


,1 .1 




•-, «i 





cent for his money. No native could, without some 
interested view, give to the Governor-General what 
he would refuse to the Company as a grant, or evtn 
as a loan. It is plain that the powers of government 
must, in some way or other, be understood by the 
natives to be at sale. The Governor-General says 
that he took the money with an original destination 
to the purposes to which he asserts he has since ap- 
plied it. But this original destination was in his own 
mind only, — not declared, nor by him pretended to 
be declared, to the party who gave the presents, and 
who could perceive nothing in it but money paid 
to the supreme magistrate for his private emolu- 
ment. All that the natives could possibly perceive 
in such a transaction must be highly dishonorable to 
the Company's government ; for they must conceive, 
when they gave money to Mr. Hastings, that they 
bought from Mr. Hastings either what was their own 
right or something that was not so, or that they re- 
deemed themselves from some acts of rigor inflicted, 
threatened, or apprehended. If, in the first case, Mr 
Hastings gave them the object for which they bar- 
gained, his act, however proper, was corrupt, — if he 
did not, it was both corrupt and fraudulent ; if the 
money was extorted by force or threats, it was oppres- 
sive and tyrannical. The very nature of such transac- 
tions lias a tendency to teach tlie natives to pay a cor- 
rupt court to the servants of the Company ; and they 
must thereby bo rendered less willing, or less able, or 
perhaps both, to fulfil their engagements to the state. 
Mr. Scott's evidence asserts that they would rather 
give to Mr. Hastings than lend to the Company. It 
is very probable ; but it is a demonstration of their 
opinion of his power and corruption, and of the weak 
and p- .carious state of the Company's authority. 



Tlie recond principle assumed by Mr. Hastings for 
his justification, namely, that factious opposition and 
a divided government miglit create exigencies requir- 
ing such supplies, is full as dangerous as the fir«t ; 
for, if, in the divisions which must arise in all coun- 
cils, one member of government, when he thinks 
others factiously disposed, shall be entitled to take 
money privately from the subject for the purposes of 
his politics, and thereby to dispense with an act of 
Parliament, pretences for that end cannot be want- 
ing. A dispute may always be raised in council in 
order to cover oppression and peculation elsewliere. 
But these principles of Mr. Hastings tend entirely to 
destroy the character and functions of a coxmcil, and 
to vest them in one of the dissentient members. The 
law has placed the sense of the whole in tlic major- 
ity ; and it is not a thing to be suffered, that any of 
tlie members should privately raise money for the 
avowed purpose of defoatinfr that sense, or for pro- 
moting designs that are contrary to it : a more alarm- 
ing assumption of power in an individual mcml)er of 
any deliberative or executive body cannot be imag- 
ined. Mv. Hastings had no right, in order to clear 
himself of peculation, to criminate the majority with 
faction. No member of any body, outvoted on a ques- 
tion, has, or can have, a riglit to direct any part of his 
public conduct by that principle. The members of 
the Council had a common superior, to wliom they 
might appeal in their mutual charges of faction : 
they did so frequently ; and the imputation of faction 
has almost always been laid on Mr. Hastings himself. 

But there were periods, very distinguished periods 
too, in the records of the Comjiany, in which the 
clandestine taking of money could not be supported 





*< .1/ 


...t. ' 

. 1 



even by this pretence. Mr. Hastings has been charged 
with various acts of peculation, perpetrated at a time 
he could not jxcuse himself by the plea of any public 
purpose to be carried on, or of any faction in council 
by which it was traversed. It may be necessary here 
to recall to the recollection of the House, that, on the 
cry which prevailed of the ill practices of the Compa- 
ny's servants in India, (which general cry in a great 
raea?ure produced the Regulating Act of 1773,) the 
Court of Directors, in their instructions of the 29th of 
March, 1774, gave it as an injunction to the Council- 
General, that " they immediately cause the strictest 
inquiry to be made into all oppressions which may 
have been committed either against natives or Euro- 
peans, and into all abuses which may have prevailed 
in the collection of the revenues or any part of thj 
civil government of the Presidency ; and that you com- 
municate to us all information which you may be able 
to obtain relative thereto, or any embezzlement or 
dissipation of the Company's money." 

In this inquiry, by far the most important abuse 
which appeared on any of the above heads was that 
which was charged relative to the sale in gross by 
Mr. Hastings of nothmg less than the whole authority 
of the coimtry government in t' e disposal of the guar- 
dianship of the Nabob of Bengal. 

The present Nabob, Mobarek ul Dowlah, was a mi- 
nor when he succeeded to the title and office of Su- 
bahdar of the three provinces in 1770. Although in 
a state approaching to subjection, still his rank and 
character were important. Much was necessarily to 
depend upon a person who was to preserve the mod- 
eration of a sovereign not supported by intrinsic pow- 
er, and yet to maintain the dignity necessary to carry 

V'\ } 



on the representation of political government, as well 
as the substance of the whole criminal justice of a 
great country. A good education, conformably to the 
maxims of his religion and the manners of his people, 
was necessary to enable him to fill that delicate place 
with reputation either to the Mahometan government 
or to ours. Ho had still to manage a revenue not 
inconsiderable, which remained as the solo resource 
for the languishing dignity of persons any way dis- 
tinguished in rank among Mussulmen, who were all 
attached and clung to him. These considerations 
rendered it necessary to put his person and affairs 
into proper hands. They ought to have been men who 
were able by the gravity of their rank and character 
to preserve his morals from the contagion of low and 
vicious comi)any, — men who by their integrity and 
firmness might be enabled to resist in some degree 
the :"apacity of Europeans, as well as to secure the re- 
maining fragments of his property from the attempts 
of the natives themselves, who must lie under strong 
temptation of taking their share in the last pillage of 
a decay: ig house. 

The Directors were fully impressed with the neces- 
sity of such an arrangement. Your Comiaittee find, 
that, on the 2Gth of August, 1771, they gave instruc- 
tions to the President and Coimcil to appoint " a 
minister to transact the political affairs of the circai* 
[government] , — and to select for that purpose som^ 
person wfll qualified for the affairs of go\ernmont to 
be the minister of tne government, and guardian of 
the Nabob's minority." 

The order was so distinct as not to admit of a mis- 
take; it was (for its mt ter) provident and well con- 
sidered ; and the trust which devolved on Mr. Hast- 









« K 

h ^ 


I . 



iugs was of such a nature as might well stimulate a 
man scnsil)lo to reputation to fulfil it in a manner 
agreeably to the directions he had received, and not 
only above just cause of exception, but out of the 
reach of suspicion and malice. In that situation it 
was natural to suppose ho would cast his eyes upou 
men of the first repute and conf^'deratiou among the 
Mussuhnen of high rank. 

Mr Hastings, instead of directing his eyes to the 
durbar, employed his researches in the scrajrl'o. In 
the inmost recesses of that place ho discovered a 
woman secluded from the intercourse and shut up 
from the eyes of men, whom ho found to corre- 
spond with the orders ho had received from the 
Directors, as a person well " qualified for the affairs 
of government, fit to bo a minister of government 
and the guardian -^f the Nabob's mhiority." This 
woman he solemnly invests with these functions. 
He appoints Rajah Gourdas, whom some time after 
he himself qualified with a description of a young 
man of mean abilities, to be her duan, or steward 
of the household. The rest of the arrangement was 
correspondent to this disposition of the principal of- 

It seems noi to have been lawful or warrantable 
in Mr. Hastings to set aside the arrangement pos- 
itively proscribed by the Court of Directors, which 
evidently pointed to a man, not to any woman what- 
ever. As a woman confined in the female apart- 
ment, the lady he appointed could not be competent 
to hold or qualified to exercise any active employ- 
ment: she stood in need of guardians for herself, 
and had not the ability for the guardianship of a 
person circumstanced as the Subah was. General 

► :J 




Clavoring, Colonel Monson, and Mr. Francis declare 
in their minute, " that they believe there never was 
an instance in India of such a trust so disposed 
of." Mr. Hastings has produced no precedent in 
answer to this objection. 

It will bo proper to state to the House the situ- 
ation and circumstances of the women imneipally 
concerned, who were in the seraglio of Jafher Ali 
Khan at his death. The frst of ll^cso was called 
Munny Begum, a person originally born of poor 
and obscure parents, wl. . ' "d her over to the 
conductress of a compa-* ng girls ; in which 

profession being called "^ at a festival, the 

late Nabob took a likin^ ., and U'ter some co- 

habitation, she obtained such influ.nce over him 
that he took her for one of his wives and (she 
seems to have been the favorite) put her at the head 
of his harem ; and having a son by her, this son 
succeeded to his authority and estate, — Munny Be- 
gum, the mother, being by his will a devisee of 
considerable sums of money, and other effects, on 
which he left a charge, which has since been ap- 
plied to the service of the East India Company. 
The son of this lady dying, and a son by another 
\vife succeeding, and dying also, the present Nabob, 
Mobarek ul Dowlah, son by a third wife, succeeded. 
This woman was then alive, and in the seraglio. 

It was Munny Begum that Mr. Hastings chose, 
and not the natural mother of the Nabob. Whether, 
having chosen a woman in defiance of the Compa- 
ny's orders, and in passing by the natural parent of 
the minor prince, he was influenced by respect for 
the disposition made by ihe deceased Nabob during 
his life, or by other motives, the llo .oc will deter- 





t ! 

. fi 


mine upon a view of the facts which follow. It will 
be matter of inquiry, when tlie questiou is stated up- 
on the appointmout of a stepmother in exclusion of 
the parent, whether the usage of the East constantly 
authorizes the continuance of that same distribution 
of rank and power which was settled in the seraglio 
during the life of a deceased prince, and which was 
found so settled at his death, and afterwards, to the 
exclusion of the mother of the t^uccessor. In case 
of female guardianship, her claim seems to bo a 
right of Nature, and which nothing but a very clear 
positive law will (if that can) authorize the depart- 
ure from. The history of Munny Begum is stated 
on the records of the Council-General, and no at- 
tempt made by Mr. Hastings to controvert the truth 
of it. 

That was charged by the majority of Council to 
have happened wliich migiit be expected inevitably 
to happen: the care of the Nabob's education was 
grossly neglected, and his fortune as grossly misman- 
aged and embezzled. What connection this waste 
and embezzlement had with tlie subsequent events 
the House will judge. 

On the 2d of May, 1775, Mr. James Grant, ac- 
countant to the Provincial Council of Moorshedabad, 
produced to the Govei-nor-General and Council cer- 
tain Persian papers which stated nine lacs of rupees 
(upwards of ninety thousand pounds sterlivg) re- 
ceived by Munny Begum, on her appointment to the 
management of the Nabob's household, over and 
above the balance due at that time, and not ac- 
counted for by her. These Grant had received from 
Nuned Roy, who had been a writer in the Begum's 
Treasury Office. Both Mr. Grant and Nuned Roy 



wero callod before the board, and examined respect- 
ing tlio authenticity of tlio papers. Among otlier cir- 
cumstances tending to establisli tlio credit of tlieso pa- 
pers, it u|>pears that Mr. Grant ofl'ored to make oath 
that the cliiof eunuch of the Begum liad come to him 
on purpose to prevail on liim not to send tlio pajwrs, 
and had declared that the accounta were not to be dis- 

On the 9tli of May it was resolved by a majority of 
tlio board, against the opinion r ' solenin protest of 
the Govt r-fJeneral, that a g *leman should be 
sent up to the city of Moorshedaba^ to demand of 
Munny Begum the accounts of the nizainut and 
household, from April, 170-1, to the latest period to 
which they could be closed, and to divest the Begum 
of the office of guardian to the Nabob ; and Mr. 
Charles Goring was appointed for this purpose. 

The preceding facts are stated to the House, not as 
the foundation of an inquiry into the conduct of the 
Begum, but as they lead to and are therefore "eces- 
sary to explain by what means a discovery was .uado 
of a sum of money given by her to Mr. Hastings. 

Mr. Goring's first letter from the city, dated 17th 
May, 1775, mentions, among other particulars, the 
young Nabob's joy at boing delivered out of the 
hands of Munny Begum, of the mean and indigent 
state of confinement in which he was kept by her, of 
the distress of his mother, and that he had told Mr. 
Goring that the " Begum's eunuch had instructed the 
servants not to suffer him to learn anything by which 
he might make himself acquainted with business " : 
and he adds, " Indeed, I believe there is great truth 
in it, as his Exceliency seems to be ignorant of almost 
everything a mau of his rank ought to know, — not 



k h 



.1 1 




fl l,t 


ii i! * 1 

rl'H J 





from a want of understan "iik, but of being properly 

On the 2l8t of May, Mr. Goring transmitted to the 
Governor-General and Council an account of sums 
given by the Begum under her seal, delivered to Mr, 
Qoruig by the Nabob in her apartments. The ac- 
count is as follows. 

Memorandum of Disbursements to English Gontlo- 
aien, from the Nabob's Sircar, in the Bengal Year 

BeM of Manny Drituin, 
Mother uf the Nahub 
Nudjuf ol Dowlikb, 

To the Governor, Mr. Hastings, for an 

entertainment 1,50,000 

To Mr. Middleton, on account of an agree- 
ment entered into by Baboo Begum . 1' oO 

Rupees . 3^0,000 

When this paper was delivered, the Governor-Gen- 
eral moved that Mr. Goring might be asked how he 
came by it, and on what account this partial selection 
was made hy him; also, that the Begum should be 
desired to explain the sum laid to his charge, and that 
he should ask the Nabob or the Begum their reasons 
for delivering this separate account. 

The substance of the Governor's proposal was 
agreed to. 

Mr. Goring's answer to this requisition of the board 
is as follows. 

" In compliance with your orders to explain the 
delivery (jf the paper containing an account of three 
lacs of rupees, I am to inform you. it took its rise 



from a mus!>ago sunt mo by tho Begum, ruquustiag I 
would iutoi'c»t myself wiili tho Niil>ob tu huvo Akbar 
All Khuu released to her for a few hours, haviug 
somethiut: of imitortauco to eommuulcuto to mo, on 
which she wished to consult him. Thinking tho ser- 
vice might 1)0 benefited by it, I accordingly desired 
tho Nabob would bo pleased to deliver him to my 
charge, engaging to return him tlie same night, — 
which I did. I heard uo more till next day, whou 
tho Begum reiiuested to see his Excellency and my- 
bolf, desirii.g Akbar AU might attend. 

" On our iirst meeting, sho ontored into a long de- 
tail of her administration, endeavoring to represent 
it m tho fairest light ; at last sho camo to the point, 
and told mo, my urgent and repeated remonstrances 
to her to bo informed how tho balance aroso of which 
I was to inquire uiduced her from memory to say 
what sho had hv^-rself given, — then mentioning the 
sum of a lac and a half to the Governor to feast 
him whilst ho stayed there, and a lac and a half to 
Mr. Middleton by tho hands of Baboo Bogum. As 
I looked on this no more than a matter of conversa- 
tion, I ai'ose to depart, but was detuiued by tho Be- 
gum's requesting' tho Nabob to come to her. A scene 
of weeping and complaint then begun, which made 
mo still more impatient to bo gone, and 1 re' -dly 
sent to his Excellency for that purpose: he at last 
came out and delivered me the paper I sent you, de- 
claring it was given him by tho Begum to bo deliv- 
ered me." 

Munny Bogum also wrote a letter to General Clav- 
ering, in which she directly asserts the same. " Mr. 
Goring has pressed mo on the subject of the balances ; 
in answci- to which I mformed him, that all the par- 


* i ' ill 




ticiilars, being on record, would in the course of the 
inquiry appear from the papers. He accordingly re- 
ceived from the Nabob Mobarek ul Dowlah a list of 
three lacs of rupees given to the Governor and Mr. 
Middleton. I now send you inclosed a list of the 
dates when it was presented, and through whose 
means, which you will receive." 

The Governor-General then desired that the follow- 
ing questions might be proposed to the Bcgiim by 
Mr. Martin, then Resident at the Durbar. 

1st. Was any application made to you for the ac- 
count which you have delivered, of three lacs of 
rupees said to have been paid to the Governor and 
Mr. Middleton, or did you deliver the account of 
your own free will, and unsolicited? 

2d. In what manner was the application made to 
you, and by whom ? 

3d. On what account was the sum of one and half 
lacs given to the Governor-General, which you have 
laid to his account ? Was it in consequence of any 
requisition from him, or of any previous agreement, 
or of any established usage ? 

The Governor-General objected strongly to Mr. 
Goring's being present when the questions were put 
to the Begum ; but it was insisted on by the major- 
ity, and it was resolved accordingly, that he ought 
to be present. The reasons on both sides will best 
appear by the copy of the debate, inserted in the 

The Beg-im's answer to the preceding questions, 
addressed to the Governor-General and Council, 
where it touched the substance, was as follows. 

" The case is this. Mr. Goring, on his arrival here, 
seized all the papers, and secured them under his seal ; 



and all (he mutmddies [clerks or accountants'] attend* 
ed htm, and explained to him all the particulars of 
them, Mr. Goring inquired of me concerning tho 
arrears due to the sepoys, Ac, observing, that the 
nizamut and bhela money [Nabob's allowance] was 
received from the Company ; from whence, then, 
could the balance arise ? I made answer, that the 
sum was not adequate to the expenses. Mr. Goring 
then asked, What are those expenses which exceed 
the sum received from the Company ? I replied, All 
the particidara will be found in the papers. The affair 
of the three lacs of rupees, on account of entertainment 
for the Governor and Mr. Mddleton, has been, I am 
told, related to you by Rajah Gourdas ; besides which 
there are many other expenses, which will appear 
from the papers. As the custom of entertainment is 
of long standing, and accordingly every Governor of 
Calcutta who came to Moorshedabad received a daily 
sum of two thousand rupees for entertainment, which 
was in fact instead of provisions ; and the lac and an 
half of rupees laid to Mr. Middleto'.'s charge was a 
present on account of an agreement entered into hy the 
Bhoio Bagum. I therefore affixed my seal to the ac- 
count, and forwarded it to Mr. Goring by means of 
the Nabob." 

In this answer, the accounts given to Mr. Gor- 
ing she asserts to be genuine. They are explained, 
in all the particulars, by all the secretaries and clerks 
in office. They are secured under Mr. Goring's seal. 
To them she refers for everything; to them she re- 
fers for the three lacs of rupees given to Mr. Hast- 
ings and Mr. Middleton. It is impossible to combine 
together a clearer body of proof, composed of record 
of office and verbal testimony mutually supporting 
and illustrating each other. 









s\ ( 


I' i / 

l^? ! ^ (1 

The House will observe that the receipt of the 
money is indirectly admitted by one of the Gover- 
nor's own questions to Mimny Begiim. 

If the money was not received, it would have been 
absurd to ask on what account it was given. Both the 
question and the answer relate to some established 
usage, the appeal to which might possibly be used to 
justify the acceptance of the money, if it was accept- 
ed, but would be superfluous, and no way applicable 
to the charge, if the money was never given. 

On this point your Committee will only add, that, 
in all the controversy between Mr. Hastings and the 
majority of the Council, he nowhere denies the receipt 
of this money. In his letter to the Court of Directors 
of the 31st of July, 1775, he says that the Begum 
was compelled by the ill treatment of one of her ser- 
vants, which he calls a species of torture, to deliver 
the paper to Mr. Goring; but ho nowhere affirms 
that the contents of the paper were Mse. 

On this conduct the majority remark, " We confess 
it appears very extraordinary that Mr. Hastings should 
employ so much time and labor to show that the dis- 
coveries against him have been obtained by improper 
means, but that he should take no step whatsoever to 
invalidate the truth of them. He does not deny the 
receipt of the money : the Begum's answers to the 
questions put to her at liis own desire make it im- 
possible that he should deny it. It seems, he has 
formed some plan of defence against this and similar 
charges, wliich he thinks will avail liim in a court of 
justice, and which it would be imprudent in him to 
anticipate at this time. If lie has not received the 
money, we see no reason for such a guarded and cau- 
tious method of proceeding. An innocent man would 



take a shorter and easier course. He would volun- 
tarily exculpate himself by his oath." 

Your Committee entertain doubts whether the re- 
fusal to exculpate by oath can be used as a circum- 
stance to infer any presumption of guilt. But where 
the charge is direct, specific, circumstantial, supported 
by papers and verbal testimony, made before his law- 
ful superiors, to whom he was accountable, by persons 
competent to charge, if innocent, he was obliged at 
least to oppose to it a clear and formal denial of 
the fact, and to make a demand for inquiry. But 
if he does not deny the fact, and eludes inquiry, just 
presumptions will be raised against him. 

Your Committee, willing to go to the bottom of a 
mode of corruption deep and dangerous in the act 
and the example, being informed that Mr. Goring 
was in London, resolved to examine him upon the 
subject. Mr. Goring not only agreed with all the 
foregoing particulars, but even produced to your 
Committee what he declared to be the original Per- 
sian papers in his hands, delivered from behind the 
curtain through the Nabob himself, who, having priv- 
ilege, as a son-in-law, to enter the women's apart- 
ment, received them from Munny Begum as authen- 
tic, — the woman all the while lamenting the loss of 
her power with many tears and much vociferation. 
She appears to have been induced to make discovery 
of the above practices in order to clear herself of the 
notorious embezzlement of the Nabob's effects. 

Your Committee examining Mr. Scott and Mr. Ba- 
ber on this subject, they also produced a Persian pa- 
per, which Mr. Baber said he had received from the 
hands of i servant of Munny Begum, — and along 
with it a paper purporting to be a translation into 








English of the Persian original. In the paper given 
as the translation, Munny Begum is made to allege 
many matters of hardship and cruelty against Mr. 
Goring, and an attempt to compel her to make out a 
false account, but docs not at all deny the giving the 
money : very far from it. She is made to assert, in- 
deed, "that Mr. Goring desired her to put down 
three lacs of rupees, as divided between Mr. Hastings 
and Mr. Middleton. I begged to bo excused, observ- 
ing to him that this money had neither been ten- 
dered or accepted with any criminal or improper 
view." After some lively expressions in the Euro- 
pean manner, she says, " that it had been customary 
to furnish a table for the Governor and his attend- 
ants, during their stay at court. With respect to 
the sum mentioned to Mr. Middleton, it was a free 
gift from my own privy purse. Purburam replied, he 
understood this money to be paid to these gentle- 
men as a gratuity for secret services ; and as such he 
should assuredly represent it." Here the payments 
to Mr. Hastings are fully admitted, and excused as 
agreeable to usage, and for keeping a table. The 
present to Mr. Middleton is justified as a free gift. 
The paper produced by Mr. Scott is not referred to 
by your Committee as of any weight, but to show that 
it does not prove what it is produced to prove. 

Your Committee, on reading the paper delivered 
in by Mr. Scott as a translation, perceive it to be 
written in a style which they conceived was little to 
be expected in a faithful translation from a Persian 
original, being full of quaint terms and idiomatic 
phrases, which strongly bespeak English habits in the 
way of thinking, and of English peculiarities and affec- 
tations in the expression. Struck with these strong 

\'i \ \ »( 



internal marks of a suspicious piece, they turned to 
the Persian manuscript produced by Mr. Scott and 
Mr. Baber, and comparing it with Mr. Goring's pa- 
pers, they found the latter carefully sealed upon every 
leaf, as they beiieve is the practice universal in all 
authentic pieces. They found on the fnrraer no seal 
or signature whatsoever, either at the top or bottom 
of the scroll. This circumstahce of a want of signar 
ture not only takes away all authority from the piece 
as evidence, but strong;ly confirmed the suspicions en- 
tertained by your Committee, on reuding the trans- 
lation, of unwarrantable practices in tho whole con- 
duct of this business, even if the translation should 
be found substantially to agree with the original, 
such an original as it is. The Persian roll is in the 
custody of the clerk of your ComrrUtee for further 

Mr. Baber and Mr. Scott, being examined on these 
material defects in the authentication of a paper pro- 
duced by them as authentic, could give no sort of ac- 
count how it happened to be without a signature ; 
nor did Mr. Baber explain how lie came to accept 
and use it in that condition. 

On the whole, your Committee conceive that all 
the parts of the transaction, as ihey appear in the 
Company's records, are consistent, and mutually 
throw light on each other. 

The Court of Directors order the President and 
Council to appoint a minister to transact the poJItical 
affairs of the government, and to oelect lor tliat pur- 
pose some person well qualified for the affairs of gov- 
ernment, and to be tho minister of government. Mr. 
Hastings selects for me minister so described and so 
qualified a woman locked up in a seraglio. He is or- 



VOL. vin. 




1 1^^ 




dered to appoint a guardian to the Nabob's minority. 
Mr. Hastings passes by his natural parent, and ap- 
points another woman. These acts would of them- 
selves have been liable to suspicion. But a great 
deficiency or embezzlement soon appears in this 
woman's account. To exculpato herself, she volun- 
tarily declares that she gave a considerable sum to 
Mr. Hastings, who never once denies the receipt. 
The account given by the principal living witness of 
the transaction in his evidence is perfectly coherent, 
and consistent with the recorded part. The original 
accounts, alleged to be delivered by the lady in ques- 
tion, were produced by him, properly sealed and 
eathenticated. Nothing is opposed to all this but a 
paper without signature, and therefore of no author- 
ity, attended with a translation of a very extraordina- 
ry appearance ; and this paper, in apol'gizing for it, 
confirms the facts beyond a doubt. 

Finally, your Committee examined the principal 
living witness of the transaction, and find his evi- 
dence consistent with the record. Your Committee 
received the original accounts, alleged to be delivered 
by the lady in question, properly sealed and authenti- 
cated, and find opposed to them nothing but a paper 
without signature, and therefore of no authority, at- 
tended with a translation of a very extraordinary 

In Europe the Directors ordered opinions to be 
taken on a prosecution : they received one doubtful, 
and three positively for it. 

They write, in their letter of 5th February, 1777, 
paragraphs 32 and 33 : — 

" Although it is rather our wish to prevent evils in 
future than to enter into a severe retrospection of the 



past, and, where facts arc doubtful, or attended with al- 
leviating circumstances, to proceed with lenity, rather 
than to prosecute with rigor, — yet some of the cases 
a;e so flagrantly corrupt, and others attended with 
circumstances so oppressive to the inhabitants, chat it 
would be unjust to suffer the delinquents to go unpun- 
ished. The principal facts* have been communicated 
to our solicitor, whose report, confirmed by our stand- 
ing counsel, we send you by the present conveyance, 
— authorizing you, at the same time, to take such 
steps as shall appear proper to be pursued. 

" If we find it necessary, we shall return you the 
original covenants of such of our servants as remain 
in India, and have been anyways concerned in tlie un- 
due receipt of money, in order to enable you to recov- 
er the same for the use of the Company by a suit or 
suits at law, to be instituted in the Supreme Court of 
Judicature in Bengal." 

Your Committee do not find that the covenants 
have been sent, or that any prosecution has been be- 

A vast scene of further peculation and corruption, 
as well in this business as in several other instances, 
appears in the evidence of the Rajah Nundcomar. 
That evidence, and all the proceedings relating to it, 
are entered in the Appendix. It was the last evidence 
of the kind. The informant was hanged. An at- 
tempt was made by Mr. Hastings to indict him for a 
conspiracy ; this failing of effect, another prosecutor 
appeared for an offence not ccnnected with these 
charges. Nundcomar, the object of that charge, was 
executed, at the very crisis of the inquiry, for an of- 

• Relative to salt farms, charfrcs of the Ranny of Burdwan, and 
the charges of Nundcomar and If nnny Begum. 








fence of another nature, not capital by *he laws of tho 
country. As long as it appeared safe, several charges 
were made (which are inserted at large in the Appen- 
dix) ; and Mr. Hastings and Mr. Barwell seemed ap- 
prehensive of many more. General Clavering, Col- 
onel Monson, and Mr. Francis declared, in a minute 
entered on the Consultations of the 5th May, 1775, 
that, " in the late proccclings of the Revenue Board, 
it will appear that there is no species of peculation 
from which the Honorable Governor-General has 
thought proper to abstain." A charge of offences of 
so heinous a nature, so very extensive, so very delib- 
erate, made on record by persons of great weight, 
appointed by act of Parliament his associates in the 
highest trust, — a charge made at his own board, to 
his own face, and transmitted to their common su- 
periors, to whom they were jointly and severally ac- 
countable, this was not a thing to be passed over by 
Mr. Hastings ; still less ought it to have perished in 
other hands. It ought to have been brought to an 
immediate and strict discussion. General Clavering, 
Colonel Monson, and Mr. Francis ought to have been 
punished for a groundless accusation, if such it had 
been. If the accusation were founded, Mr. Hastings 
was very unfit for the high office of Governor-General, 
or for any office. 

After this comprehensive account by his colleagues 
of the Governor-General's conduct, these gentlemen 
proceeded to the particulars, and they produced the 
case of a corrupt bargain of Mr. Hastings concern- 
ing the disposition of office. This transaction is here 
stated by your Committee in a very concise manner, 
being on this occasion merely intended to point out 
to the House the absolute necessity which, in their 

I'j'in'Af]^ Is jarnf; i^on^Jjlt*. in rh'* NariorLil I'orrrjit tiillen 

I ' y 







h u( 






.1.. ■;. 

16 J. ti'if 

ii I'M 



opinion, cxistjs for anotlior sort of inquiry into tlio 
corruptions of men in power in India timn liitlicrto 
has beep pursuod. Tiio proceedings may be found at 
largo in tlio Ai)|)ondix. 

A complulnt w^s made tliat Mr. Hustings liad sold 
the office of Phousilar of Iloogly to a pcrs<on called 
Khun Johan Khan on a corrupt agreement, — which 
was, that from his emoluments of seventy-two thou- 
fand rui»ces a your lie was to pay to tlie Oovernor- 
Gonerul thirty-six thousand rupees annually, and to 
his banian, Cuntoo Buboo, four thousand more. The 
complainant offers to i)ay to the Company the forty 
thousand rupees which were corruptly paid to these 
gentlemen, and to content himself witli the allow- 
ance of thirty-two thousand. Mr. Hastings was, if on 
any occasion of his life, strongly called upon to bring 
this matter to the most distinct issue ; and Mr. Bar- 
well, who supported his administration, and as such 
ought to have been tender for his honor, was bound 
to help him to get to the bottom of it, if his enemies 
should be ungenerous enough to countenance such 
an accusation without permitting it to bo detected 
and exposed. But tlie course they held was di- 
rectly contrary. They began by an objection to re- 
ceive the complaint, in which they obstinately perse- 
vered as far as their power went. Mr. Harwell was 
of opinion that the Com])any's instructions to inquire 
into peculation were intended for the public inter- 
ests, — that it could not forward the public interests 
to enter into these inquiries, — and that " he never 
would be a channel of aspersing any character, while 
it cannot conduce to the good of government." Ilere 
was a new mode of reasoning found out by Mr. Bar- 
well, which might sul)ject all inquiry into peculation 

ft: I 



h'A"i K 

m M 


11 ;> 


to the discretion of the very persons charged with 
it. By that reasoning all orders of his superiors were 
at his mercy ; and he actually undertook to set aside 
those commands which by an express act of Parlia- 
ment he was bound to obey, on his opinion of what 
would or would not conduce to the good of govern- 
ment. On -his principles, he either totally annihi- 
lates the authority of the act of Parliament, or he 
entertains so extravagant a supposition as that the 
Court of Directors possessed a more absolute author- 
ity, when their orders were not intended for the pub- 
lic good, than when they were. 

Gen ral Clavering was of a different opinion. He 
thought " he should be wanting to the legislature, 
and to the Court of Directors, if he was not to receive 
the complaints of the inhabitants, when properly au- 
thenticated, and to prefer them to the board for in- 
vestigation, as the only moins by which these griev- 
ances can be redressed, and the Company informed 
of the conduct of their servants." 

To these sentiments Colonel jMonson and Mr- 
Francis adhered. Mr. Hastings thouglit it more safe, 
on principles similar to those assumed by Mr. Bar- 
well, to refuse to hear the charge ; but he reserved 
his remarks on this transaction, because they will be 
equally applicable to mant/ others which in the course 
of this business are likely to be brouyht before the board. 
There appeared, therefore, to him a probability that 
the charge about the corrupt bargain was no more 
than the commencement of a whole class of such ac- 
cusations ; since he w^s of opinion (and what is very 
extraordinary, previ.. , to any examination) that the 
same remarks would be applicable to several of tlioso 
which were to follow. He must suppose this class of 
charges very uniform, as well as very extensive. 



The majority, however, pressed their point ; and 
notwithstanding his opposition to all inquiry, as he 
was supported only by Mr. Barwell, the question for 
it was carried. He was tiion desired to name a day 
for tlie appearance of the accuser, and the institution 
of the inquiry. Though baffled in his attempt to 
stop the inquiry in the first stage, Mr. Hastings made 
a second stand. He seems here to have recollected 
something inherent in his own office, that put the 
matter more in his power than at first he had im- 
agined ; for he speaks in a positive and commanding 
tone : " I will not," says his minute, " name a day for 
Mir Zin ul ab Dien to appear before the board ; nor 
will I svffer him to appear before the hoard.'" 

The question for the inquiry had been carried ; it 
was declared fit to inquire ; but there was, according 
to him, a power which miglit prevent the appearance 
of witnesses. On the general policy of obstructing 
such inquiries, Mr. Francis, on a motion to that ef- 
fect, made a sound remark, which cannot fail of giv- 
ing rise to very serious thoughts : " That, supposing 
it agreed among ourselves that the board shall not 
hear any charges or complaints against a member of 
it, a case or cases may hereafter happen, in which, 
by a I'eciprocal complaisance to each other, our re- 
spective misconduct may be effectually screened from 
inquiry ; and the Company, whose interest is con- 
cerned, or the parties wlio may have reason to com- 
plain of any one member individually, may be left 
without remedy." 

Mr. BarwcU was not of the opinion of that gentle- 
man, nor of the maker of the motion. General Clav- 
ering, nor of Mr. Monson, who supported it. Ha 
entertains sentiments with regard to the orders of 



1 *'! 







•if • H 



I fit 5 ! 

the Directors in this particular perfectly correspond- 
ent with those which he had given against th ^ origi- 
nal inquiry. He says, " Though it may in some little 
degree save the Governor-General from personal in- 
8ult, where there is no judicial power lodged, that 
of inquisition can never answer any good purpose." 
This is doctrine of a most extraordinary nature and 
tendency, and, as your Committee conceive, contrary 
to every sound principle to be observed in the con- 
stitution of judicatures and inquisitions. Tlie power 
of inquisition ought rather to be wholly separated 
from the judicial, the former being a previous step to 
the latter, which requires other rules and methods, 
and ought not, if possible, to be lodged in the same 
hands. The rest of his minute (contained in the Ap- 
pendix) is filled with a censure on the native inhab- 
itants, with reflections on the ill consequences which 
would arise from an attention to their complaints, 
and with an assertion of the authority of the Supreme 
Court, as superseding the necessity and propriety of 
such inquiries in Council. Witli regard to his prin- 
ciples relative to the natives and their complaints, if 
tliey are admitted, they are of a tendency to cut off 
the very principle of redress. The existence of the 
Supreme Court, as a means of relief to the natives 
under all oppressions, is held out to qualify a refusal 
to hoar in the Council. On the same pretence, Mr. 
Hastings holds up the authority of tlie same tribunal. 
But this and other proceedings sliow abundantly of 
what efficacy that court has been for the relief of the 
unhappy people of Bengal. A person in delegated 
authority refuses a satisfaction to his superiors, 
throwing himself on a court of justice, and supposes 
that nothing but what judicially appears against him 



is a fit subject of inquiry. But even in this Mr. 
Hastings fails in his applf ,ation of his principle ; for 
the majority of the Council were undoubtedly com- 
petent to order a prosecution against him in the Su- 
preme Court, which they had no giound for without 
a previous inquiry. But their inquiry had other ob- 
jects. No private accuser might choose to appear. 
The party who was the subject of the peculation 
might be (as here is stated) the accomplice in it. 
No popular action or popular suit was provided by the 
charter under whoso authority the court was insti- 
tuted. In any event, a suit might foil in the court for 
the punishment of an actor in an abuse for want of 
the strictest legal proof, which might yet furnish mat- 
ter for the correction of the abuse, and even reasons 
strong enougli not only to justify, but to require, the 
Directors instantly to address for the removal of a 
Governor-General. — The opposition of Mr. Hastings 
and Mr. Barwell proved as ineffectual in this stage 
as the former ; and a day was named by the majority 
for the attendance of the party. 

The day following this deliberation, on the assem- 
bling of the Council, the Governor-General, Mr. Hast- 
ings, said, " he would not sit to be confronted by such 
accusers, nor to suffer a judicial inquiry into his con- 
duct at the board of which he is the president." As 
on the former occasions, ho declares the board dis- 
solved. As on the foi'mer occasions, the majority did 
not admit his claim to this power ; they proceeded in 
his absence to examine the accuser and witnesses. 
Their proceedings are in Appendix K. 

It is remarkable, that, g -ing this transaction, Khfin 
Jehan Khan, the party witn vhom the corrupt agree- 
ment was made, decHnod an attendance under ex- 

. V 

nC'i, , 


cuses which the majority thought pretences for delay, 
though they used no compulsory methods towards 
his appearance. At length, however, he did appear, 
and then a step was taken by Mr. Hastings of a very 
extraordinary nature, after the steps which he had 
taken before, and the declarations with which those 
steps had been accompanied. Mr. Hastings, who had 
absolutely refut d to be present in the foregoing part 
of the proceed! I ig, appeared with Klian Jehan Khin. 
And now tb ..fair took another turn ; other obstruc- 
tions were raised. General Clavering said that the 
informations hitherto taken had proceeded upon oath. 
Khan Jehan Khan had previously declared to General 
Clavering his readiness to be so examined ; but when 
called upon by the board, he changed his mind, and 
alleged a delicacy, relative to his rank, with regard to 
the oath. In this scruple he was s^^^rongly supported 
by Mr. Hastings. Ej and Mr. Harwell went further : 
they contended that the Council had no right to ad- 
minister an oath. They must have been very clear 
in that opinion, when they resisted the examination 
on oath of the very person who, if he could safely 
swear to Mr. Hastings's innocence, owed it as a debt 
to his patron not to refuse it ; and of the payment of 
this debt it was extraordinary in the patron not only 
to enforce, but to support, the absolute refusal. 

Although the majority did not acquiesce in this doc- 
trine, they appeared to have doubts of the prudence 
of enforcing it by violent means ; but, construing his 
refusal into a disposition to screen the peculations of 
viie Governor-General, they treated him as guilty of a 
contempt of their board, dismissed him from the ser- 
vice, and recommended another (not the accuser) to 
his office. 

A^LJ " 



The reasons on both sides appear in the Appendix. 
Mr. Hastings accuses them bitterly of injustice to him- 
self in considering the refusal of this person to swear 
as a cha.\: proved. How far tlioy did so, and under 
what qualifications, will appear Ijy refeivnce to the 
papers in the Appendix. But Mr. Hastings " thaniss 
God that they are not his judges." His great liold, 
and not without reason, is the Supreme Court : and 
he " blesses the wisdom of Parliament, that consti- 
tuted a court of judicature at so seasonable a time, 
to check the despotism of the new Council." It was 
thought in Engluid that the court had other objects 
than the protecwon of the Governor-General against 
the examinations of those sent out witli instructions 
to inquire into the peculations of n.en in power. 

Though Mr. Hastings did at tliat t'me, and avow- 
edly did, everythhig to prevent any inquiry that 
was instituted merely for the information of the 
Court of Directors, yet he did not feel himself 
thoroughly satisfied with his own proceedings. It 
was evident that to them his and Mr. Barwell's 
reasonings would not appear very respectful or sat- 
isfactory ; he therefore promises to give them full 
satisfaction at some future time. In his letter of 
the 14th of September, 1775, he reiterates a former 
declaration, and assures them of his resolution to this 
purpose in the strongest term' " I now again recur 
to the declaration winch I 'cfore made, that it 

is my fixed determination tv. y literally hi' • exe- 
cution, and most fully and liberally evplain every cir- 
cumstance of my conduct on the points upon which 1 
have been injuriously arraigned, — and to afford you 
the clearest conviction of my own integrity, and of 
the propriety of my motives for my declining a pres- 
ent defence of it." 










Pi » lU-lM 




' -1 



These motives, as far as they can be discovered, 
were the violence of his adversaries, the interested 
character and views of the accuser, and the danger 
of a prosecution in the Supreme Court, wliich made 
it prudent to reserve his defence. These arguments 
are applicable to any charge. Notwitlistanding t'^eso 
reasons, it is plain by the above letter that he tliought 
himself bound at some time or other to give satisfac- 
tion to his masters : till he should do thi«, in his own 
opinion, he remained in an unpleasant situation. But 
he bore his misfortune, it seems, patiently, with a con- 
fidence in their justice for his future relief. He says, 
" "Whatever evil may fill the lonff interval which may 
precede it." That interval he has taken care to maka 
long en(jugh ; for near eight years are now elapsed, 
and he has not yet taken the smallest step towards 
giving to the Court of Directors any explanation 
whatever, much less that full and liberal exi)lanatiou 
wh''cli he ha ) repeatedly and solemnly promised. 

It is to bo observed, that, though Mr. Hastings 
talks in these letters much of his integrity, and of 
the purity of his motives, and of full explanations, he 
nowlierc denies the fact of this corrupt traffic of office. 
Though he had adjourned his defence, with so much 
pain to himself, to so very long a day, he was not so 
inattentive to the ease of Khan Jehan Khan as he 
has shown himself to his own. He liad been accused 
of corruptl; reserving to himself a part of the emol- 
uments of this jnan's office ; it was a delicate busi- 
ness to handle, whilst his defence stood adjourned ; 
yet, in a very short time after a majority came in- 
to his hands, he turned out the person appointed by 
General Clavering, <fec., and replaced the very man 
with whom he stood accused of the corrupt bargain ; 

lg ( K" i ^ 





what was worse, he had been charged with original- 
ly turning out another, to make room for this man. 
Tlie whole is put in strong terms by the then ma- 
jority of the Council, where, after charging him with 
every species of peculation, they add, " We believe 
the proofs of his appropriating four parts in seven of 
the salary with which the Company is charged for 
the Phousdar of Hoogly are such as, whether suffi- 
cient or not to convict him in a court of justice, will 
not 1 2ave the shadow of a doubt concerning his guilt 
in the mind of any u.iprejudiced person. Tlie salary 
is seventy-two thousand riipees a year ; the Governor 
takes thirty-six thousand, and allows Cautoo Baboo 
four thousand more for the trouble he submits to in 
conducting the negotiation with the Phousdar. This 
also is the common subject of conversation and de- 
rision through the whole settlement. It is our firm 
opinion and belief, that the late Phousdar of Hoogly, 
a relation of Mahomed Reza Klu\n, was turned out 
of this office merely because his terms were not so 
favorable as those which the Honorable Governor- 
General has obtained from the present Phousdar. 
Tlie Honorable Governor-General is pleased to assert, 
with a confidential spirit peculiar to himself, that his 
measures hitherto stand unimpeached, except by us. 
We know not how this assertion is to be made good, 
unless the most daring and flagrant prostitution in 
every branch be deemed an honor to his administra- 

The whole style and tenor of these accusations, as 
well as the nature of them, rendered Mr. Hastings's 
first postponing, and afterwards totally declining, all 
denial, or even defence or explanation, very extiaor- 
dinary. No Governor ought to hear in silence such 



I ..■_ 

( ,1 f 1 .1 

I . I ■? 



charges ; and no Court of Directors ought to have 
slept upon ihem. 

The Court of Directors were not wholly inattentive 
to this business. They condemned his act as it do- 
served, and tiiey went into the business of his legal 
right to dissolve the Council. Their opinions seemed 
against it, and they gave precise orders against the 
use of any such power in future. On consulting Mr. 
Sayer, the Company's counsel, ho was of a different 
opinion with regard to the legal right ; but he thought, 
very properly, that the use of a riglit, and the manner 
and purposes for which it was used, ought not to have 
been separated. What he thought on this occasion 
appears in his opinion transmitted by the Court of 
Directors to Mr. Hastings and the Council-General. 
" But it was as great a crime to dissolve the Council 
upon base and miister motives as it would be to assume 
the power of dissolving, if he had it not. I believe 
he is the first governor that ever dissolved a council 
inquiring into his behavior, when he was innocent. 
Before he could summon three councils and dissolve 
them, he had time fully to consider what would be 
the result of such conduct, to convince emryhody, 
heyond a doubt, of his conscious guilt." 

It was a matter but of small consolation to Mr. 
Hastings, during the ] linfiil interval he describes, to 
find that the Company's learned counsel admitted 
that he had legal powers of which he made an use 
that raised an universal presumption of his guilt. 

Other counsel did not think so favoraVily of the 
powers themselves. But this matter was of ' ss con- 
sequoiico, because a groat difference of opinion may 
arise concerning the extent of official po-.<-ors, even 
among men profesrioually educated, (as in this case 



Buch a difTerence did arise,) and well-intentioued 
men may take either part. But the use that was 
made of it, in systematical contradiction to the Com- 
pany's orders, has been stated in the Ninth Report, 
as well as in many of the others made by two of your 









I,' !V' I 






H i 


B. Xo. !.• 

Copy of a Letter from the Governor- (General to the 
Court of Director». 

To the Honorable the Cotirt of Directors of the 
Honorable United East India Company. 

FoBT William, 39th November, 1780. 

You will be informed by our Consultations of the 
26th of June of a very unusual tender which was 
made by me to the board on that day, for the pur- 
pose of indemnifying the Company for the extraordi- 
nary expense which might be incurred by supplying 
the detachment under the command of Major Caraac 
in the invasion of the Mahratta dominions, whicli lay 
beyond the district of Gohud, and drawing the atten- 
tion of Mahdajee Sindia, to whom that country im- 
mediately appertained, from General Goddard, while 
his was employed in the reduction of Bassein, and in 
securing the conquests made by your arms in Guz- 
erat. I was desirous to remove the only objection 
which has been or could be ostensibly made to the 

• As the Appendixes orisinally printed with the foregoing Re- 
ports, and which consist chiefly of official docnmt. :^. would have 
swelled this volume to an enormous size, it has been thoujrht proper 
to omit them, with the exception of the first nine numbers of the 
Appendix B. to the Eleventh Report, the insertion of which has 
been judged necessary for ihe elucidation of the imbject-matter of 
that Report. 



measuro, which I had ^'ory much at hoavt, as may 
be easily conceived from the means whicli I took to 
effect it. For the reasons at large '^hich induced mo 
to propose that diversion, it will bo sufficient to refer 
to my minute recommending it, and to tho letters 
received from General Goddard near tho sarao period 
of time. The subject is now become obsolete, and 
all the fair hopes which I had built upon tho prose- 
cution of the Miihratta war, of its termination in 
a sjjeedy, honorable, and advantageous peace, havo 
been ulas ed by the dreadful calamities which havo 
befallen your arms in the dependencies of your Presi- 
dency of Fort St. George, and changed the object of 
our pursuit from the aggrandizement of your power 
to its preservation. My present reason for reverting 
to my own conduct on the occasion vhich I have 
mentioned is to obviate the false conclusions or pur- 
posed misrepresentations which may bo made of it, 
either as an artifice of ostentation or as the effect of 
corrupt influence, by assuring you that the money, 
hy u'hatever means it camt into your possession, was 
not my own, — that I had myself no riglit to it, 
nor would or could havo received it, but for the 
occasion which prompted me to avail myself of the 
iccidental means which were at that instant afforded 
me of accepting and converting it to tho property and 
use of the Company ; and with this Ijrief apology I 
shall dismiss the subject. 

Something of affinity to this anecdote may appear 
in the first aspect of another tra action, which I shall 
proceed to relate, and of which it is more immediate- 
ly my duty to inform you. 

You will have been advised, by repeated addresses 
of this government, of tho arrival of an army at Cut- 

VOL. vni. 19 

'' i'-, 














tack, under tlio command of Chimnajoo Buusla, the 
Bocoiid Boii of Moudajoo Boosla, tho Rajuh of Bcrar. 
The origin and destination of this forco havo been 
largely explained and detailed in tho correspondence 
of tlio government of Berar, and in various parts of 
our Consultations. Tho minute relation of these 
would exceed tho hounds of a letter; I shall there- 
fore confine myself to tho principal fact. 

About tho middle of tho last year, a plan of confed- 
eracy was formed by the Nabob Nizum Ali Khan, by 
which it was proposed, that, while the array of tho 
Mahrattas, under tho command of Mahdajeo .''india 
and Tuckoojeo Hoolkar, was employed to check the 
operations of General Goddard in tho West of India, 
Hydor Ali Khan should iuvado the Carnatic, Mooda- 
jeo Boosla the pro-'nces of Bengal, and ho himself 
the Cirears of T ^ and Chicacole. 

Tho government was required to accept 

tho part assigned ii combination, and to 

march a largo body of troops immediately into Ben- 
cal. To enforce the request on the part of tlio rul- 
ing member of the Mahratta state, menaces of instant 
hostility by the combined forces were added by ^fah- 
dajee Sindia, Tuckoojee Hoolkar, and Nizam Ali 
Khan, in letters written by them to Moodajco Boos- 
la on tho occasion. He was not in a state to sus- 
tain tho brunt of so formidaljlo a league, and osten- 
sibly yielded. Such at least was the turn which he 
gave to his acquiescence, in his letters to me ; and 
his subsequent conduct has justified his professions. 
I was early and progressively acquainted by liim 
with tho requisition, and with the measures which 
were intended to be taken, and which were taken, liy 
him upon it. Tlie army professedly destined for Ben- 


n.fH ^ 



gal marched on tlio DussoiTa of tlio Inst year, cot >- 
spending with the 7th of Octolwr. Instead of tak- 
ing the direct course to Baliar, which liad been pre- 
Bcril)ed, it proceeded by varied deviations and stud- 
ied delays to Cuttack, where it arrived late in May 
last, haviiip performed a practicable journey of three 
raontlis in seven, and concluded it at the instant com- 
mencement of the rains, which of course would pre- 
clude its operations, and afford the government of 
Borur a further interval of five months to provide for 
the part which it would tlicn !>- coiiiji lloi] to chooso. 

In the mean time letters were continually written 
by the Rajah and his minister to this government, 
explanatory of their situation and motives, proposing 
their mediation and guaranty for a peace and alli- 
ance with the Peshwa, and professing, witliout solici- 
tation on our part, tlio most friendly disposition to- 
wards us, and the most determined resolution to 
maintain it. Conformably to tliese assurances, and 
the acceptance of a proposal made by Moodajoe Boos- 
la to depute his minister to Bengal for tlie purpose 
of negotiating and concluding the proposed treaty of 
peace, application had been made to the Poshwa for 
credentials to the same effect. 

In the mean time the fatal news arrived of the do- 
feat of your army at Conjeveram. It now became 
necessary that every otlicr oI)ject should give place or 
be made subservient to the preservation of tlie Car- 
natic ; nor would the measures requisite for that eml 
admit an instant of delay. Peace with the Mahrat- 
tas was the first object ; to conciliate their alliance, 
and tliat of every other power in natural enmity 
with Hydcr Ali, the nest. Instant measures were 
taken (as our general advices will infoim you) to se- 


^ tr 

it tl 




i 1 






cure both these points, and to employ the goTera- 
ment of Berar as the channel and instrument of ac- 
complishing them. Its army still lay on our borders, 
and in distress for a long arrear of pay, not less occa- 
sioned by the want of pecuniary funds than a stop- 
page of communication. An application had been 
made to us for a supply of money ; and the sum 
specified for the complete relief of the army was six- 
teen lacs. "We had neither money to spare, nor, in 
the apparent state of that government in its relation 
to ours, would it have been either prudent or consist- 
ent with our public credit to have afforded it. It 
was nevertheless my decided opinion that some aid 
should be given, — not less as a necessary relief than 
as an indication of confidence, and a return for the 
many instances of substantial kindness which we had 
within the course of the last two years experienced 
from the government of Berar. I had an assurance 
that such a proposal would receive the acquiescence 
of the board ; but I knew that it would not pass 
without opposition, and it would have become public, 
which might have defeated its purpose. Convinced 
of the necessity of the expedient, and assured of the 
sincerity of the government of Berar, from evidences 
of stronger proof to me than I could make them ap- 
pear to the other members of the board, I resolved to 
adopt it, and take the entire responsibility of it upon 
myself. In this mode a less considerable sum would 
suffice. I accordingly caused three kcs of rupees to be 
delivered to the minister of the Rajah of Berar, res- 
ident in Calcutta : he has transmitted it to Cuttack. 
Two thirds of this sum I have raised by my own 
credit, and shall charge it in my official accounts ; 
the other third I have supplied from the cash in my 



hands belonging to the Honorable Company. I have 
given due notice to Moodajee Boosla of this transac- 
tion, and explained it to have been a private act of 
my own, unlcnown to the other members of the Coun- 
cil. I have given him expectations of the remainder 
of the amount required for the arrears of his army, 
proportioned to the extent to which he may put it in 
my power to propose it as a public gratuity by his 
effectual orders for the recall of these troops, or for 
their junction with ours. 

I hope I shall receive your approbation of what 1 
have done for your service, and your indulgence for 
the length of this narrative, which I could not com- 
prise within a narrower compass. 

I have the honor to be, Honorable Sirs, 

Your most faithful, obedient, 
and humble servant, 
"Warben Hastings. 


{' - 




1 \' 



B. No. 2. 

An Account of Money paid into the Company' i Treas- 
ury by the Q-ovemor -General, since the Year 1778. 

Ma7 April 
1774 to 1775. 



For interest bonds . . . 
For bills of exchange on the 


For money refunded b;' 

order of Court, accour". 

General Coote's comm_> 

sion 8,418 

t ( Received 19th May, 
\ CanceUed 30th July, 1774. 

1775-1776. For bills of exchange on the Court 
1776-1777. Do. do. do. 

1777-1778. Do. do. do. 

1778-1779. Do. do. do. 

1779-1780. Do. do. do. 

1780-1781. For bills of exchange . . 43,000 

For deposits 2,38,715 

For interest bonds, at 8 per 
cent 4,75,600 

For do. 4 per 
cent 1,66,000 

For Durbar charges . . 2,32,000 

May, 1782. For interest bonds 






( Errors excepted.) 

John Annis, 

Auditor of Indian Accounts. 
East India Housb, Uth Jane, 1783. 




B. No. 3. 

To the Honorable the Secret Committee of the 
Honorable Court of Directors. 

FoBT William, 22d May, 1783. 

Honorable Sirs, — 

In a letter which I have had the honor to address 
you in duplicate, and of which a triplicate accompa- 
nies this, dated 20th January, 1782, 1 informed you 
that I had received the offer of a sum of money from 
the Nabob Vizier and his miuist " the nominal 
amount of ten lacs of Lucknow s. id that bills 

on the house of Gopaul Doss had bi . mutually given 
me for the amount, which I had accepted for the use 
of the Honorable Company ; and I promised to ac- 
count with you for tlie same as soon as it should be 
in my power, after the whole sum had come into my 
possession. This promise I now perform ; and deem- 
ing it consistent with the spirit of it, I have added 
such other sums as have been occasionally converted 
to the Company's property through my means, and 
in consequence of the like original destination. Of 
the second of these you have been already advised in 
a letter which I had the honor to address the Hon- 
orable Court of Directors, dated 29th November, 
1780. Both this and the third article wore paid im- 
mediately to the Treasury, by my order to the sub- 
treasurer to receive them on the Company's account, 
but never passed through my hands. The three 
sums for which bonds were granted \ ' -e in like 
manner paid to the Company's Treasury without 
passing through my hands ; but their appropriation 
was not specified. The sum of 58,000 current ru- 

^ }-i 





pees was received while I was on my journey to Be- 
nares, and applied as expressed in the account. 

As to the manner in whicli these sums have been 
expended, the reference which I have made of it, in 
the accompanying account, to the several accounts in 
which they are credited, renders any other specifica- 
tion of it unnecessary ; besides that those accounts 
either have ^i- will have received a much stronger au- 
thentication than any that I could give to mine. 

Why *' oC sums were taken by me, — why they 
were, except the second, quietly transferred to the 
Compar/'s use, — why bonds were taken for the first, 
and not "or the rest, — might, were this matter to be 
exposed to the view of the public, furn'sh a variety of 
conjectures, to which it would be of little use to reply. 
Were your Honorable Court to question me upon 
these points, I would answer, that the sums were tak- 
en for tht Company's benefit at times in which the 
Company very much needed them, — that I eitlier 
chose to conceal the first receipts from public curios- 
ity hy receiving bonds for the amount, or possibly 
acted without any studied design which luy memory 
could at this distance of time verify, an '. that I did 
not think it worth my care to observe the same means 
with the rest. I trust. Honorable Sirs, to your breasts 
for a candid interpretation of my actions, and assume 
the freedom to add, that I thmk myself, on such a sub- 
ject, and on such an occasion, entitled to it. 
I have the honor to be, Honorable Sirs, 

Your most faithful, most obedient, 

and most humble servant, 

Warren Hastings. 




B. No. 4, 

An Account of Sums received on the Account of the 
Honorahle Company hy ike Governor- General, or 
paid to their Treasury hy his Order, and applied to 
their Service. 



The followinji sums were paid into 
the Tre<agury, and bonds granted for the same, 
in the name of the Governor-General, in 
whose possession the bonds remain, with a 
declaration upon each indorsed and signed by 
him, that he has no claim on the Company for 
the amount either of principal or interest, no 
part of the latter having been received : 

One bond, dated the 1st October, 

1780, No. 1539 1,16,000 

One bond, d.ited the 2d October, 

1780, No. 1540 1,16,000 

One bond, dated the 23d Novem- 
ber, 1780, No. 1354 . . . . 1,74,000 


Paid into the Treasury, and car- 
ried to the Governor-General's credit in the 
12th page of the Depa'sits Journal of 1780-81, 
mohurs of sorts which had been coined in the 
Mint, and produced, as per 358 and 359 
paged of the Company's General Joumctl of 
Gold mohurs, 12,831 12 li, or 
Calcutta siccaa .... 2,05,788 14 9 
Bat ■>, 16 per cent . . . 32,926 3 6 

30 April. 

Paid into the Treasury, and credited 
in the 637th page of the Company's General 
Journal, as money received from the Governop- 
Greneral on account of Durbar charges : 

Sicca rupees 2,00,000 o 

Batta, 16 per cent .... 32,000 

Carried forward .... 


2,38,716 9 3 


8,76,715 2 3 







Brought forward . . . 


Received in cash, and employed in 
defraying my public disbursements, and cred- 
ited in the Governor-General's account of 
Durbar charges for April, 1782 

Produce of the sura mentioned in the 
Governor-General's letter to the Honorable 
Secret Committee, dated 20th January, 1 782, 
and credited in the Governor-Cronei-ara ac- 
count of Durbar charges for April, 1782 . . 

Current rupees . . 

( Errors excepted.) 

Warren Hastings. 

FoKT William, 22d May, 1782. 

8,76,716 2 3 


10,30,275 1 8 
19,64,990 S 6 


B. No. 6. 

I, "William Larkins, do make oath and say, that 
the letter and account to which this affidavit is af- 
fixed were written by me at the request of the Hon 
orable Warren Hastings, Esquire, on the 22d May, 
1782, from rough drauglits written by liimself in my 
presence ; that tlie cover of tlic letter was sealed up 
by him in my presence, and was then intended to 
have been transmitted to England by the " Lively," 
when that vessel was first ordered for dispatch ; and 
that it has remained closed until this day, when it 
was opened for the express purpose of being accom- 
panied by this affidavit. 

So help me God. 

William Larkins. 

Calctttta, 16th December 1782. 

Sworn this 16th day of December, 1782, before me, 

J. Hyde. 



B. No. 6. 

To the Honorable the Secret Committee of tho 
Honorable Court of Du'cctors. 

FoBT William, 16 December, 1782. 

HoNOR.^BLE Sirs, — 

The dispatch of the " Lively " liaving been protract 
ed by various causes from time to time, tho accom- 
panying address, which was originally designed and 
prepared for that dispatch, (no other conveyance 
since occurring,) has of course been thus long de- 
tained. The delay is of no public consequence ; but 
it has produced a situation which with respect to 
myself I regard as unfortunate, because it exposes 
me to the meanest imputation from the occasion 
which tlie late Parliamentary inquiries have since 
furnislied, but which were unknown when my let- 
ter was written, and written in the necessary conse- 
quence of a promise made to that effect in a former 
letter to your Honorable Committee, dated 20tli Jan- 
uary last. However, to preclude the possibility of 
such reflections from affecting me, I have desired 
Mr. Larkins, who was privy to the whole transac- 
tion, to affix to the letter his affidavit of the date 
in wliich it was written. I own I feci most sensibly 
the mortification of l)eing reduced to tlic necessity of 
using such precautions to ^uard my reputation from 
dishonor. If I had at any time possessed tliat degree 
of confidence from ray immediate employers which 
they never withlield from tlie meanest of my prede- 
cessors, I should have disdained to use tliese atten- 
tions. How I have drawn on me a different treat- 
ment I know not ; it is sufficient that I have not 

' hi 



|/ '.I 










it . 

merited it : and in the course of a service of thirty- 
two years, and ten of these employed in maintaining 
the powers and discharging the duties of the first 
office of the British government in India, that Hon- 
orable Court ought to know wliether I possess the 
integrity and honor which are the first requisites of 
Bucli a station. If I wanted these, they have afforded 
mc but too powerful incentives to sui)press tlie infor- 
mation which I now convey to them through you, and 
to appropriate to my own use the sums whicli I have 
already passed to their credit, by the unworthy, and, 
pardon mc if I add, dangerous, reflections which thoy 
have passed upon me for the first communication of 
this kind : and your own experience will suggest to 
you, that there are persons who would profit by such 
a warning. 

Upon the whole of these transactions, which to you, 
who are accustomed to view business in an official 
and regular liglit, may appear unprecedented, if ntt 
improper, I liave but a few short remarks to suggest 
to your consideration. 

If I appear in any unfavorable light by these trans- 
actions, I resign the common and legal security of 
those who commit crimes or errors. I am ready to 
answer every particular question that may be put 
against myself, upon honor or upon oath. 

The sources from which those reliefs to the public 
service liave come would never have yielded tliera to 
the Company publicly ; and the exigencies of your 
service (exigencies created by tif xposition of your 
affairs, and faction in your cou.,ciis) required those 

I could have concealed them, had I had a wrong 
motive, from yours and the public eye forever ; and I 



know that the difHculties to which a spirit of injustice 
may subject me for my candor and avowal are great- 
er than any possible inconvenience that could have 
attended the concealment, except the dissatisfaction 
of my own mind. These difficulties are but a few of 
those which I have suffered in your service. Tlie ap- 
plause of my own breast is my surest reward, und 
was the support of my mind in meeting them : your 
applause, and that of my country, are my next wish 
in life. 
I have the honor to be, Honorable Sirs, 
Your most faithful, most obedient, 

and most humble servant, 

Warrfn Hastings. 

B. No. 7. 

Extract of the Company's General Letter to Bengal, 
dated the 'loth January, 1782. 

Par. 127. "We have received a letter from our Gov- 
ernor-General, dated the 29th of November, 1780, 
relative to an unusual tender and advance of money 
made by him to the Council, as entered on your Con- 
sultation of the 26th of June, for the purpose of in- 
demnifying the Company from the extraordniary 
charge which might be incurred by supplying the de- 
tachment under the command of Major Camac ni tlio 
invasion of the Mahratta dominions, which lay beyond 
the district of Gohud, and thereby drawing the atten- 
tion of Mahdajee Sindia (to whom the country ap- 
pertained) from General Goddard, while the General 
was employed in tlie reduction of Baoseiu, and in so- 



f tl 





curing the conquests made in the Ouzcrat country , 
and also res|)ccting the sum of three lacs of rupees 
advanced by the Governor-General for the use of the 
army under the command of Chimnajce Boosla with- 
out the authority or knowledge r<' the Council ; with 
the reasons for taking these extra nary stops under 
the circumstances stated in his letter. 

128. In regard to the first of these transactions, wo 
readily conceive, tliat, in the then state of the Coun- 
cil, the Governor-General might bo induced to tem- 
porary secrocy respecting the members of the board, 
not only because he might be apprehensive of opposi- 
tion to the p'-oposcd application of the money, but, 
perhaps, because doubts might have arisen concern- 
ing the propriety of appropriating it to the Company's 
use on any account ; but it does not appear to us that 
there could be any real necessity for delaying to com- 
municate to us immediate information of tlic channel 
by which the money came into his possession, with a 
complete illustration of the cause or causes of so ex- 
traordinary an event. 

129. Circumstanced as affairs were at the moment, 
it appears that the Governor-General had the meas- 
ure much at heart, and judged it absolutely necessa- 
ry. The means proposed of defraying the extra ex- 
pense were very extraordinary ; and the money, as we 
conceive, must have come into his hands by an unu- 
sual channel : and when more complete information 
comes before us, wo shall give our sentiments fully 
upon the whole transaction. 

130. In regard to the application of the Company's 
money to the army of Chimnajee Boosla by the sole 
authority of the Governor-General, ho knew that it 
was entirely at his own risk, and he has taken the re- 

': i 

U^' •* 

■*- V ' MiL!! *i 



sponsibility upon himself; nothing but tho most ur- 
gent necessity could warrant the measure ; nor can 
anything short of full proof of such necessity, and of 
the propriety and utility of tho cxtraonlinary stop 
taken on tho occasion, entitle the Govenior-Gcnoral 
to tho approbation of tho Court of Directors; and 
therefore, as in the former instance relative to the 
sum advanced and paid into our Treasury, we must 
also for tho present suHpend our judgment respecting 
the money sent to tho Berar army, without approving 
it in the least degree, or proceeding to censure our 
Governor-General for this transaction. 





B. No. 8. 

Mctrad of Bengal Secret Consultations, the 0th 
January, 1781. 

The following letter from the Gove- r-General 
having been circulated, and the request therein ir.n le 
complied with, an order on the Treasury passed ac- 

Honorable Sib and Sirs, — 

Having had occasion to disburse tho sum of three 
lacs of sicca rujjees on account of secret services, which 
having been advanced from my own private cash, I 
request that the same may be repaid to mo in the fol- 
lowhig manner: — A bond to be granted me upon 
the terms of the second loan, bearing date from the 
1st October, for one lac of sicca rupees ; a bond to be 
granted me upon the terms of tho lirst loan, bearing 
date from tlio Ist October, for one lac of sicca rupees ; 


\ '* 










a bond to bo granted rao upon tho terms of tho first 
loan, bearing date from tho 2d October, for one lac 
of sicca rupees. 

I have the honor to be, Ac, Ac, 

(Signed) Warren IIastinqb. 

FOBT WiLUAK, 5th Januujr, 1781. 

:!:/ ■ 

i , I 


♦ ■ I. 

B. No. 9. 

An Account of Bondu (granted to the Governor -General, 
from 1st January, 1779, to ^l»t May, 1782, with 
Interest paid or credited thereon. 

Whm pnM Into th« 


Data of Bond. 

Bate of Intertat 


23d Nov., 1780 


2.S(I Nov., 1780 

at 8 per cent 

15th Dec. 


15th Dec. 

15th Jan., 1781 


l8t Oct., 1780 




2(1 Do. 




1st Do. 

4 per cent. 

1 7th March 


17th Mar., 1781 


8th May, 1782 


1.5th Sept., 1781 

8 I 'IT cent. 


8th Dec, 1781 



There does not appear to have been any interest paid 
on the above bonds to 31st May, 1782, the ac- 
counts received. In the Interest Books, 1780 - 81, 
the last received, the Governor-General has credit 
for interest on the first six to April, 1781, to the 
amount of CRs. 21,964 12 8. 

(Errors excepted.) 

John Annis, 
Auditor of Indian Accounts. 

East Lidia Hocss, 5th Jane, 1783. 















VOL. vm. 






1 ^ 

' f \ 




! ■ 

4'IJI': ^\ 





THAT the Court of Directors of the East India 
Company, from a just sense of tlie danger and 
odium incident to the extension of their conquests in 
the East Indies, and from an experience of the disor- 
ders and corrupt practices which intrigues and nego- 
tiations to bring about revolutions among the country 
powers had produced, did positively and repeatedly 
direct their servants in Bengal not to engage in any 
offensive war whatsoever. That the said Court laid 
it down as an invariable maxim, which ought ever to he 
maintained, that they were to avoid talcing part in the 
political schemes of any of the country princes, — and 
did, in particular, order and direct that they should 
not engage with a certain prince called Sujah ul Dow- 
lah. Nabob of Oude, and Vizier of the Empire, in any 
operations beyond certain limits in the said orders 
specially described. 

That Warren Hastings, Esquue, then Governor of 
Fort William in Bengal, did, with other members of 
the Council, declare his clear understanding of the 
true intent and meaning of the said positive and re- 
peated orders and injunctions, — did express to the 
Court of Directors his approbotion of the policy there- 








S i 




\^ ', 


]■: U 

of, — did declare that he adopted the same with stncer- 
ity and sati^action, and that he was too well atvare of 
the ruinou8 tendency of all schemes of conquest ever to 
adopt them, or ever to depart from the absolute line of 
self-defence, unless impelled to it ly the most obvious 
necessity, — did signify to the Nabob of Oude the said 
orders, and his obligation to yield punctual obedience 
thereto, — and did solemnly engage ;.!.J promise to 
the Court of Directors, with the unanimous concur- 
rence of the whole Council, " that no object or consid- 
eration should either tempt or compel him to pass the 
political line wliich they [the Directors] had laid down 
for his operations with the Vizier," assuring the Court 
of Directors that he " scarce saw a possible advantage 
which could compensate the hazard and expense to be 
incurred by a contrary conduct," — that he did fre- 
quently repeat the same declarations, or declarations 
to the same effect, particularly in a letter to the Na- 
bob himself, of the 22d of November, 1773, in the 
following words : " The commands of my superiors 
are, as I have repeatedly informed you, peremptory, 
that I shall not suffer their arms to be carried beyond 
the line of their own boundaries, and those of your 
Excellency, their ally." 

That the said Warren Hastings, in direct contra- 
diction to the said orders, and to his own sense of 
their propriety and coercive authority, aiid in breach 
of his express promises and engagements, did, in Sep- 
tember, 1773, enter into a private engagement with 
the said Nabob of Oude, who was the special oltject of 
the prohibition, to furnish him, for a stipulated sum 
of money to be paid to tlie East India Company, with 
a body of troops for the declared purpose of " thor- 
oughly extirpating the nation of the Rohillas " : a na- 



tion from whom the Company had never received, or 
pretended to receive or apprehend, any injury what- 
soever ; whose country, in the month of February, 
1773, by an unanimous resolution of the said War- 
ren Hastings and his Council, was incl tided in the 
line of defence against the Mahrattas ; and from 
whom the Nabob never complained of an aggression 
or act of hostility, nor pretended a distinct cau^o of 
quarrel, other than the non-payment of a sum of 
money in dispute between him and that people. 

That, supposing the sum of money in question to 
have been strictly due to the said Nabob by virtue of 
any engagement between him and the Rohilla chiefs, 
the East India Company, or their representatives, 
were not parties to that engagement, or guaranties 
thereof, nor bou"d by any obligation whatever to en- 
force the exef n of it. 

That, pr • ;> • the said "Warren Hastings's enter- 
ing into thi i; ' 'raent or bargain aforesaid to extir- 
pate the sai( -. .^^n, he did not make, or cause to be 
made, a due inquiry into the validity of the sole pre- 
text used by the said Nabob ; nor did he give notice 
of the said claims of debt to the nation of the Rohil- 
las, in order to receive an explanation on their part 
of the matter in litigation ; nor did he offer any 
mediation, nor propose, nor afford an opportunity of 
proposing, an agreement or submission by which the 
calamities of war might be avoided, as, by the high 
state in which the East India Company stood as a 
sovereign power in the East, and the honor and char- 
acter It ought to maintain, as well as by the principles 
of equity and humanity, and by the true and obvious 
policy of uniting the power of the Mahometan princes 
against the Mahrattas, he was bound to do. That, 








i> I 





instead of such previous inquiry, or tender of good of- 
fices, the said Warren Hastings did stimulate the am- 
bition and ferocity of the Nabob of Oude to tlie full 
completion of the inhuman end of the said unjustifi- 
able enterprise, by informing him " that it would be 
absolutely necesfary to persevere in it until it should 
be accomplishel " ; pretending that a fear of the Com- 
pany's displeasure was his motive for annexing the 
accomplishment of the enterprise as a condition of 
his assistance, and asserting " that he could not haz- 
ard or answer for the displeasure of the Company, 
his masters, if they should find themselves involved 
in a fruitless war, or in an expense lOr prosecuting 
it," — a pretence tending to the high dishonor of the 
East India Company, as if the gain to be acquired 
was to reconcile that body to the breach of their own 
orders prohibiting all such enterprises ; — and in or- 
der further to involve the said Nabob beyond *he 
power of retreating, he did, in the course of the pro- 
ceeding, purposely put the said Nabob under difficul- 
ties in case he should decline that war, and did oblige 
him to accept even the permission to relinquish the 
execution of this unjust project as a favor, and to 
make concessions for it; thereby acting as if the Com- 
pany were principals in the hostility ; and employing 
for this purpose much double dealing and divers 
unworthy artifices to entangle and perplex the said 
Nabob, but by means of wliich he found himself (as 
he has entered it on record) hampered and embar- 
rassed in a particular manner. 

That the said compact for offensive alliance in fa- 
vor of a great prince against a considerable nation 
was not carried on by projects and counter-projects in 
writing ; nor wore the articles and conditions thereof 

-i',. ;= ffi 




formed into any regular written instrument, signed 
and sealed by the parties ; but the whole ( both the 
negotiation and the compact of offensive alliance 
against the Rohillas) was a mere verbal engage- 
ment, the purport and conventions whereof nowhere 
appeared, except in subsequent correspondence, in 
which certain of the articles, as they were stated by 
the several parties, did materially differ : a proceed- 
ing new and unprecedented, and directly leading to 
mutual misconstruction, evasion, and ill faith, and 
tending to encourage and protect every species of 
corrupt, clandestine practice. That, at the time 
when this private verbal agreement was made by the 
said Warren Hastings with tlie Nabob of Oude, a p\ib- 
lic ostensible treaty was concluded by him with the 
said Nabob, in which there is no mention wha^^over of 
such agreement, or reference whatever to it : in de- 
fence of which omission, it is asserted by the said 
Warren Hastings, that the muUiplication of treaties 
weakens their efficacy, and therefore they should he re- 
served only for very important and permanent obliga- 
tions ; notwithstanding he had previously declared to 
the said Nabob, " that the points which lie had pro- 
posed required much consideration, and the previous 
ratification of a formal agreement, before he could 
consent to them. Th^t the whole of the said ver- 
bal agreement with the Nabob of Oude in his own 
person, without any assistance on his part, was car- 
ried on and concluded by the said Warren Hastings 
alone, without any person who might witness the 
same, without the intervention even of an interpret- 
er, though he confesses that he spoke the Hindos- 
tan language imperfectly, and although he had with 
him at that time and place several persons high in 





i '"h 


h ^•. 






the Company's service and confidence, namely, the 
commander-in-chief of their forces, two members of 
their Council, and the Secretary to the Council, who 
were not otherwise acquainted with the proceedings 
between him and the said Nabob than by such com- 
munications as he thought fit to make to them. 

That the object avowed by the said Warren Hast- 
ings, and the motives urged by him for emi)loying 
the British arms in the utter extirpation of the Ro- 
hilla nation, are stated by himself in the following 
terms : — " The acquisition of forty lacs of rupees to 
the Company, and of so much specie added to the ex- 
hausted currency of our provinces ; — that it would 
give wealth to the Nabob of Oude, of which we should 
participate; — that the said Warren Hastings should 
always be ready to profess that he did reckon the 
probable acquisition of wealth among his reasons for 
taking up arms against his neighbors ; — that it would 
ease the Company of a considerable part of their mil- 
itary expense, and preserve their troops from inaction 
and relaxation of discipline ; — that the weak state of 
the Rohillas promised an easy conquest of them ; — 
and, finally, that such was his idea of the Company's 
distress at home, added to his knowledge of their 
wants abroad, that he should have been glad of ant/ 
occasion to employ their forces which saved so much 
of their pay and expenses." 

Tliat, in the private verbal agrcen .ut aforesaid for 
offensive war, the said Warren Hastings did trans- 
gress the bounds of the authority given him l)y his in- 
structions from the Council of Fort William, which 
had limited his powers to such compacts "as were 
consistent with the spirit of the Company's orders " ; 
which Council he afterwards persuaded, and with dif- 




ficulty drew into an acquiesconco in what he had 

That the agreement to the effect aforesaid was set- 
tled in the said secret conferences before the 10th of 
September, 1773 : but the said Warren Hastings, con- 
cealing from the Court of Directors a matter of which 
it was his duty to afford them the earliest and full- 
est information, did, on the said 10th of 'September, 
1773, write to the Directors, and dispatchv^a his letter 
over land, giving them an account of the public 
treaty, but taking not the least notice of his agree- 
ment for a mercenary war against the nation of tho 

That, in order to conceal the true purport of the 
said clandestine agreement the more effectually, and 
until he should find means of gaining over the rest 
of the Council to a concurrence in his disobedience 
of orders, he entered a minute in the Council books, 
sivins a false account of the transaction ; in winch 
minute he represented that the Nabob had indeed pro- 
posed the design aforesaid, and that he, the said War- 
ren Hastings, was pleased that he urged the scheme of 
this expedition no further, when in reality and truth he 
had absolutely consented to the said enterprise, and 
had engaged to assist him in it, which he afterwards 
admitted, and confessed that he did act in conse- 
quence of the same. 

That the said Warren Hastings and his Council 
were sensible of the true nature of the enterprise 
in which they had engaged the Company's arms, and 
of the heavy responsibility to which it would subject 
himself and the Council, — " the personal hazard they, 
the Council, run, in undertaking so uncommon a meas- 
ure without positive instructions, at their own risk, 

' W 

it-' |{ 




4 ' \<} 7A 



with the eyes of the whole nation on the affairs of the 
Company, and the passions and prejudices of almost 
every man in England inflamed against the cor.duct 
of the Company and the character of its servaits"; 
yet they engaged in the very practice which had 
brought such odium on the Company, and on the 
character of its servants, though they further say that 
they had continually before their eyes the dread of for- 
feiting the favor of their employers, and becoming the 
"objects oi popular invectives." The said Warren 
Hastings himself says, at the very time when he pro 
posed the measure, " I must confess I entertain some 
doubts as to its expediency at this time, from the cir- 
cumstances of the Company at home, exposed to pop- 
ular clamor, and all its measures liable to be can- 
vassed in Parliament, their charter drawing to a close, 
and his Majesty's ministers unquestionably ready to 
take advantage of every unfavorable circumstance in 
the negotiations of its renewal." All these consider- 
ations did not prevent the said Warren Hastings from 
making and carrying into execution the said merce- 
nary agreement for a sum of money, the payment of 
which the Nabob endeavored to evade on a construc- 
tion of the verbal treaty, and was so far from being 
insisted on, as it ought to have been, by the said War- 
ren Hastings, that, when, after the completion of the 
service, the commander-in-chief was directed to make 
a demand of the money, the agent of the said War- 
ren Hastings at the same time assured the Nabob 
" that the demand was nothing more than matter of 
form, common, and even necessary, in all public trans- 
actions, and that, although the board considered the 
claim of the government literally due, it was not the 
intention of administration to prescribe to his Excel- 



loncy the mode, or even limits, of payment." Nor was 
any part of the monej recovered, until tlio establish- 
ment of the Governor-Genea-al and Council by act of 
Parliament, and their determination to withdraw the 
brigade from the Nabob's service, — the Resident at 
his court, appointed by the said Warren Hastings, 
having written, that he had experienced much duplicity 
and deceit in most of his transactions icith his Excellen- 
cy; and the said Nabob and his successors falling back 
in other payments in the same or greater proportion 
as he advanced in the payment of this debt, the con- 
sideration of lucre to the Company, tlio declared mo- 
tive to this shameful transaction, totally failed, and 
no money in effect ani substance (as far as by any 
account to be depended on appears) has been obtained. 
That the said Nabob of Oude did, in consequence 
of the said agreement, and with the assistance of Brit 
ish troops, which were ordered to march and sub- 
jected to his disposal by the said Warren Hastings 
and the Council, unjvistly enter into and invade the 
country of the Rohillas, and did there make war in 
a barbarous and inhuman manner, " by an abuse of 
victory," " by the unnecessary destruction of the 
country," " by a wanton display of violence and op- 
pression, of inhumanity and cruelty," and " by the 
sudden expulsion and casting down of an whole race 
of people, to whom tlie slightest benevolence was 
denied." When prayer was made not to dishonor 
the Begum (a -rinccss of great rank, whose husband 
had been killed in battle) and other women, by drag- 
ging them about the country, to he loaded v-ith the scoffs 
of the Jf^ahob's rabble, and otherwise still tvorse used, 
the Nabob refused to listen to the entreaties of a Brit- 
ish commander-in-chief in their favor ; and the said 






women )f high rank were exposed not only to the vil- 
est personal indignities, biit even to absolute want: 
and these transactions being by Colonel Champion 
communicated to the said Warren Hastings, instead 
of commendations for his intelligence, and orders to 
redress the said evils, and to prevent the like in future, 
by means whicli were suggested, and which appear to 
have boon proper and feasible, ho received a repri- 
mand from the said Warren Hastings, who declared 
that we had no authority to control the conduct of 
the Vizier in the treatment of his subjects ; and that 
Colonel Champion desisted from making further rep- 
resentations on this subject to the said Warren Hast- 
ings, being apprehensive of having already run some 
risk of displeasing by perhaps a too free communica- 
tion of sentiments. That, in consequence of the said 
proceedings, not only the eminent families of the 
chiefs of the Rohilla nation were either cut off or ban- 
ished, and their wives and offspring reduced to utter 
ruin, but the country itself, heretofore distinguished 
above all others for the extent of its cultivation as a 
garden, not having one spot in it *" uncultivated ground, 
and from being in the most Ji.i'.rinhing state that a 
country could be, was by the inhuman mode of carry- 
ing on the war, and the ill government during the 
consequent usurpation, reduced to a state of great 
decay and depopulation, in which it still remains. 

That the East India Company, having had reason 
to conceive, tliat, for the purpose of concealing cor- 
rupt transactions, their servants in India had made 
unfair, mutilated, and garbled communications of 
correspondence, and sometimes had wholly withheld 
the same, made an order in their letter of the 23d 
of March, 1770, in the following tenor: — " The Gov- 



emor singly shall correspond with the country powers ; 
but all letters, before they shall be by him sent, must 
be communicated to the other members of the Select 
Committee, and receive their approbation ; and also 
all letters whatsoever which may be received by the 
Governor, in answer to or in course of corrospond- 
euco, shall likewise be laid before the said Select Com- 
mittee for their information and consideration " ; and 
that in their instructions to their Governor-General 
and Council, dated 30th March, 1774, tbey did repeat 
their ordure to the same purpose and effect. 

Tliat the said Warren Hastings did not obey, as in 
duty he was bound to do, the said standing orders ; 
nor did communicate all his correspondence with 
Mr. Middleton, the Company's agent at the court of 
the Subah of Oud'^, or with Colonel Champion, the 
commander-in-chief of the Company's forces in the 
Rohilla war, to the Select Committee: and when 
afterwards, that is to say, on the 2r.tli of October, 
1774, he was required by the majority of tlio Council 
appointed by the act of Parliament of 177o, whose 
opinion was by the said act directed to ho taken as 
the act of tlio wliole Council, to produco all bis cor- 
respondence with Mr. Middleton and Colonel Cliara- 
pion for tl.e direction of their futuio proceedings rel- 
ative to tbe obscure, intricate, and critical transac- 
tion aforesrid, he did positively and pertinaciously re- 
fuse to deliver any other than such parts of the said 
correspondence as he thought convenient, covering 
his said illegal refusal under general vague pretences 
of secrecy and danger from the communication, al- 
though the said order and instruction of the Court of 
Directors above mentioned was urged to liim, and al- 
thoi'igh it was represented to him by the said Council, 


4^ , 




* |5 





I' I 

that thoy, as well as he, were b y ; li oath of 
secrecy : which refusal to obey tli. order* of «'io Cotirt 
of Directors (orders f-pcciiilly, aiii ov wii^h v ('rounds 
of exiierionce, iioiuiod to cases of this very nature) 
gave rise to much jealousy, and excited great ?u^pi- 
cioHS relative to the motives and j,'rouiids ou which 
the Roliilla war had beou undertaken, 

Tiiut the said Warren Hastings, in the grounds al- 
leged in his justification of his ivfusul to conunuuicate 
CO his colleagues in the Superior Council his corro- 
gpondoiice with Mr. Middleton, the Company's Resi- 
dent at Oudo, was guilty of a new offence, arrogating 
to himself unprecedented and dangerous powers, ou 
principles utterly subversive of all order and discipline 
iu bervico, and introductory to corrupt confederacies 
and disobedience among the Company's servants ; the 
^aid Warren Hastings insisting that Mr. Middleton, 
the Company's covenanted servant, the public Resi- 
dent for transacting the Company's affairs at tho 
court of tho Subah of Oudo, and as such receiving 
from tho Compai\y a salary for his service, was no 
otlier tlian the "'Jicial wu-nt of him, the said Warren 
Hastings, and that, being such, ho was not obliged to 
communicato his correspondence. 

That tho Court uf Directors, and afterwards a 
General Court of tho Proprietors of the East India 
Company, (although the latter showed favorable dis- 
positions towards the Bai<l Warr ii Hastings, and ex- 
pressed, but without assig.iing ai round or reason, 
the highest opinion of his services and integrity,) did 
unanimously condemn, along with his conduct rela- 
tive to tho Rohilla treaty and war, ! .s refusal to com- 
municate his whole correspondence with Mr. Middle- 
ton to the Superior Council: yet the said Warren 





Uastiiigs, ill defiance of the opinion of the Dii ctors, 
and tho unanimous opinion ot tho Oenoral d irt ot 
the said East India Coiupau) us well a» the oce- 
dent positive orders of tlio t'ourt of Directors, u..d tho 
injunctions of an act of I'urlifuaent, li -. from tliat 
time to tlie presom never niaa ; any .jouiniunii ion 
of tlie whole of Iiis correspomii-nco to tlu; Oovcruor- 
Gencral and Council, or to the l jurt of Directors. 


That, in a solemn treaty of ) juce, concluded he 
16th of August, 1705, between tlio East India Com- 
pany a id the late Nabob of Oude, Sujah :l Dowluh, 
and highly approved of, coulirmed, and • itified I 
the said Company, it is agreed, " that tlie i. ug "^i. 'h 
Allum sh.iU remain in lull pos^ession of Corah, and 
such part of the provinc- of AUahut ad as ho now pos- 
sesses, which are coded to bis Majisty as a royal 'le- 
mesne for the -U{)port of i-is dig ity am. 'xpensu: ." 
That, in a separate agreement, concludrd at the 
same time, l)etween the Kiiiqr -ah Allum and the 
then Subabdar of Bengal, m: liie in::iie<iiate secu- 
rity and iTuaranty of the Engiish Company, the faith 
of the Company was pled^ -d to he ^aid K.iu^' lor the 
imnuul 1 'lyment of tweni '^ lac of niji 'Cs for his 
-upport ill of the revenut ot Bengal ; a i that the 
said Ooni|)nny did then r.-ceive from the -aid King 
:. grait of the dnannd ol che provin es of Beniral 
ikihii and Orissa, on the j-xpress condition of tbeir 
bf-in<; -ecurity for ibe annual j ayment above men- 
tion d. That the East India Compn.ny have held, 
and oontume to hold, the duannd >o granted, and 





I' ii 





for some years have complied with the conditions on 
which they accepted of the grant thereof, and have at 
all times acknowledged that they held the duannfi 
in virtue of the MoguVt grants. That the said Court 
of Directors, in their letter of the 30th June, 1769, to 
Bengal, declared, "that they esteemed themselves 
bound by treaty to protect the King's person, and to 
secure him the possession of the Corah and Allahabad 
districts " ; and supposing au agreement should be 
made respecting these provinces between the King 
and Sujah ul Dowlah, the Directors then said, " that 
they should be subject to no further claim or requisi- 
tion from the Kmg, excepting for the stipulated trib- 
ute for Bengal, which they [the Governor and Coun- 
cil] were to pay to his agent, or remit to him in such 
manner as he might direct." 

That, in the year 1772, the King Shah Allum, 
who had hitherto resided at Allahabad, trusting to 
engagements which he had entered into with the Mah- 
rattas, quitted that place, and removed to Delhi ; but, 
having soon quarrelled with those people, and after- 
wards being taken prisoner, had been treated by 
them with very great disrespect and cruelty. That, 
among other instances of their abuse of their im- 
mediate power over him, the Governor and Coun- 
cil of Bengal, in their letter of the 16th of August, 
1773, inform the Court of Directors that he had been 
compelled, while a prisoner in their hands, to grant 
sunnuds for the surrender of Corah and Allahabad to 
them; and it appears from sundry other minutes of 
their own that the said Governor and Council did at 
all times consider the surrender above mentioned as 
extorted from tlic King, and unquestionably an act of 
violence, which could not alienate or impair his right 



to those provinces, and that, when thoy took posses- 
sion thereof, it was at the request of the King's Naib, 
or viceroy, who put them under the Council's protec- 
tion. That on this footing they were accepted by the 
said Warren Hastings and his Council, and for some 
time considered by them as a deposit committed to 
their care by a prince to wliom the possession thereof 
was particularly guarantied by t!io East India Com- 
pany. In their letter of the 1st of March, 1773, they 
(the said "Warren Hastings and his CounciH say, 
" In no shape can this compulsatory cession hy the 
King release us from the obligation we are under to 
defend the provinces which we have so particularly 
guarantied to him." But it appears that they soon 
adopted other ideas and assumed other principles 
concerning this object. In the instructions, dated 
the 23d of June, 1773, which the Council of Fort 
William gave to the said Warren Hastings, previous 
to his interview with the Nabob Sujah ul Dowlali at 
Benares, they say, that, " while the King continued 
at Delhi, whither he proceeded in opposition to their 
most strenuous remonstrances, they should certainly 
consider the engagements between liim and the Com- 
pany as dissolved by his alienation from them and 
their interest ; that the possession of so remote a 
country could never be expected to yield any profit 
to the Company, and the defence of it must require 
a perpetual aid of their forces " : yet in the same in- 
structions they declare their opinion, that, " if the 
King should make overtures to renew his former con- 
nection, hu right to reclaim the districts of Corah and 
Allahabad could not with 'propriety he disputed" and 
they authorize the said Warren Hastings to restore 
them to him on condition that he should renounce his 

VOL. Vlll. SI 









h:'iU ■; 


cZam <o <A« annual tribute of twenty-six lac of rupees, 
herein before mentioned, and to the arrears which 
might be due, thereby acknowledging the justice of a 
claim which they determined not to comply with but 
in return for the surrender of another equally valid ; 
— that, nevertheless, in the treaty concluded by the 
said Warren Hastings with Sujah ul Dowlah on the 
7th of September, 1773, it is asserted, that his Maj- 
esty, (meaning the King Shah AUum,) "ha^^ng 
abandoned the districts of Corah and Allahabad, and 
given a sunnud for Corah and Currah to the Mahrat- 
tas, had thereby forfeited his right to the said dis- 
tricts," although it was well known to the said War- 
ren Hastings, and had '^ecn so stated by him to the 
Court of Directors, that his surrender on the part 
of the King had been extorted from him by violence, 
while he was a prisoner in the hands of the Mahrat- 
tas, and although it was equally well known to the 
said Warren Hastings that there was nothing in the 
original treaty of 1765 which could restrain the King 
from changing the place of his residence, consequent- 
ly that his removal to Delhi could not occasion a for- 
feiture of his right to the provinces secured to him 

by that treaty. 

That the said Warren Hastings, in the report 
which he made of his interview and negotiations 
with Sujah ul Dowlah, dated the 4th of October, 1773, 
declared, " that the administration would have been 
culpable in the highest degree in retaining possession 
of Corah and Allahabad for any othr pw-p'm than 
that of making an advantage by the disposal of them," 
and therefore he had ceded them to the Vizier for 
fifty lac of rupees : a measure Tor which he had no 
authority wliatever from the King Shab AUum, and in 



the executioa of which no reserve whatever was 
made in favor of the rights of that prince, nor any 
care taken of his interests. 

That the sale of these provinces to Sujah Dowlah 
involved the East India Company in a triple breach 
of justice ; since by the same act they violated a 
treaty, they sold the property of another, and they 
alienated a deposit committed to their friendship and 
good faith, and as such accepted by them. That a 
measure of this nature is not to be defended on 
motives of policy and convenience, supposing such 
motives to have exis*od, without a total loss of public 
honor, and shaking all security in the faith of treaties ; 
but that in reality the pretences urged by the said 
"Warren Hastings for selling the King's country to 
Sujah Dowlah were false and invalid. It could not 
strengthen our alliance with Sujah ul Dowlah ; since, 
paying a price for a purchase, he received no favor 
and incurred no obligation. It did not free the Com- 
pany from all the dangers attending either a remote 
property or a remote connection ; since, the moment 
the country in q\icstion became part of Sujah Dow- 
lah's dominions, it was included in the Company's for- 
mer guaranty of those dominions, and in case of inva- 
sion the Company were obliged to send part of their 
army to defend it at the requisition of the said Sujah 
Dowlah ; and if the remote situation of those provin- 
ces made the defence of them difficult and dangerous, 
much more was it a difficult and dangorous onterpris-e 
to engage the Company's force in an attack and in- 
vasion of the Rohillas, whose country lay at a much 
greater distance from the Company's frontier, — 
which, nevertheless, the said Warren Hastings agreed 
to and undertook at the very time when, under pre- 

I 1 





) i'- 




tence of the difficulty of defending Corah and Allaha- 
bad, he sold those provinces to Sujali Dowlah. It did 
not relieve the Company from the expense of defend- 
ing the country ; since the revenr:es thereof far ex- 
ceeded the subsidy to be paid by Sujah Dowlah, and 
tliese revenues justly belonged to the Company as 
long as the country continued under their protection, 
and would have answered the expense of defending it. 
Finally, that the sum of fifty lac of rupees, stipulat- 
ed with the said Sujah Dowlah, was inadequate to the 
value of the country, the annual revenues of which 
were stated at twenty-five lac of rupees, \;hich Gen- 
eral Sir Robert Barker, then commander-in-chief of 
the Company's forces, affirms ivas certain, and too 
generally known to admit of a doubt. 

That the King Shah Allum received for some years 
the annual tribute of twenty-six lac of rupees above 
mentioned, and was entitled to continue to receive it 
by virtue of an engagement deliberately, and for an 
adequate consideration, entered into with him by the 
Company's servants, and approved of and ratified by 
the Company themselves ; — that this engagement 
was absolute and xmconditional, and did neither ex- 
press nor suppose any case in which the said King 
should forfeit or the Company should have a right 
to resiime the tribute ; — that, nevertheless, the said 
Warren Hastings and his Council, immediately after 
selling the King's country to Sujah Dowlah, resolved 
to withhold, and actually withhold, the payment of 
the said tribute, of which the King Shah Allum has 
never since received any part ; — tliat this resolution 
of the Council is not justified even by themselves on 
principles of right and justice, but by arguments of 
policy and convenience, by which the best founded 




claims of right and justice may at all times be set 
a-ide and defeated. " They judged it highly impol- 
itic and unsafe to answer tlie drafts of the King, 
luitil they were satisfied of his amicable intentions, 
and those of his new allies." But neither liad they 
any reason to question tlie King's amicable intentions, 
nor was he pledged to answer for those of the Mah- 
rattas ; his trusting to the good faith of that people, 
and relying on their assistance to reinstate him in 
the possession of his capital, might have been impru- 
dent and impolitic, but these measures, however ruin- 
ous to himself, iiidicated no enmity to the English, 
nor were they productive of any effects injurious to 
the English interests. And it is plain that the said 
"Warren Hastings and his Council were perfectly aware 
that their motives or pretences for withholding the 
tribute were too weak to justify their conduct, hav- 
ing principally insisted on the reduced state of their 
treasury, wliich, as tliey said, rendered it impracti- 
cable to comply with those payments. The right of a 
creditor does not depend on the circumstances of the 
debtor : on the contrary, tlie plea of inalnlity includes 
a virtual acknowledgment of the debt ; since, if the 
creditor's riglit were denied, the plea would be super- 

That the East India Company, having on their part 
violated the engagements and renounced tlie condi- 
tions on which they received and have hitherto 1 old 
and enjoyed tlie duannd of Bengal, Baliar, and Oris- 
sa from tlic King Sliah Alluni, have thereby forfeit- 
ed all right and title to the said duann<3 arising from 
the said grant, and that it is free and open to the said 
King to resume such grant, and to transfer it to any 
other prince or state ; — tluit, notwithstanding any dis- 

III ^ 

1^ ll .1 

•i (( 










it- 1 



f.: I 

tress or weakness to which lie may be actually re- 
duced, his lawful authority, as sovereign of the Mo- 
gul Empire, is still acknowledged in India, and that 
his grant of the duannd would sufficiently authorize 
and materially assist any prince or state that might 
attempt to dispossess the East India Company there- 
of, since it would convey a right which could not be 
disputed, and to which nothing but force could be 
opposed. Nor can these opinions be more strongly 
expressed than they have been lately by the said War- 
ren Hastings himself, who, in a minute recorded the 
1st of December, 1784, has declared, that, " fallen as 
the House of Timur is, it is yet the relic of the most 
illustrious line of the Eastern world ; that its sover- 
eignty is universally acknotvledged, though the sub- 
stance of it no longer exists ; and that the Company 
itself derives its constitutional dominion from its os- 
tensible bounty." 

That the said Warren Hastings by this declaration 
has renounced and condemned the principle on which 
he avowedly acted towards the Mogul in the year 
1773, when he denied that the sunnuds or grants of 
the Mogul, if they were in the hands of another na- 
tion, would avail them anything, — and when he de- 
clared " that the sword which gave us the dominion 
of Bengal must be the instrument of its preservation, 
and that, if it should ever cease to be ours, the next 
proprietor would derive his right and possession from 
the same natural charter." That the said Warren 
Hastings, to answer any immediate purpose, adopts 
any principle of policy, however false or dangerous, 
without any regard to former declarations made, or 
to [)rinciples avowed on other occasions by hinisolf ; 
and particularly, that in his conduct to Shah AUum 



he first maintained that the grants of that prince 
were of no avail, — that we held the dominion of 
Bengal by the sword, which lie has falsely declared 
the source of right, and the natural charter of domin- 
ion, — whereas at a later period he has declared that 
the sovereignty of the family of Shah Allum is uni- 
versally acknowledged, and that the Company itself 
derives its constitutional dominion from their osten- 
sible bounty. 





I. That the territory of Benares is a fruitful, and 
has been, not long since, an orderly, well-cultivated, 
and improved province, of great extent ; and its cap- 
ital city, as Warren Hastings, Esquire, has informed 
the Court of Directors, in his letter of the 21st of 
November, 1781, " is highly revered by the natives 
of the Hindoo persuasion, so that many who have ac- 
quii'ed independent fortunes retire to close their days 
in a place so eminently distinguished for its sancti- 
ty " ; and he furtlier acquaints the Directors, " that 
it may rather be considered as the seat of tlie Hindoo 
religion than as the capital of a province. But as its 
iniiabitants are not composed of Hindoos only, the 
former wealth wliich flowed into it from the offerings 
of pilgrims, as well as from the transactions of ex- 
cliange, for whicli its central situation is adapted, has 
attracted numbers of Maliomcdans, who still continue 
to reside in it with their families." And these cir- 
cumstances of the city of Benares, which not only at- 








tractcd the attention of all the different descriptions 
of men who inhabit Hindostan, but interested them 
warmly in whatever it might suffer, did in a peculiar 
manner require that the Governor-General and Coun- 
cil of Calcutta should conduct themselves with regard 
to its rulers and inhabitants, when it became depend- 
ent on the Company, on the most distinguished prin- 
ciples of good faith, equity, moderation, and mild- 

II. That the Rajah Bulwant Sing, late prince or 
Zemindar of the province aforesaid, was a great lord 
of tlie Mogul Empire, dependent on the same, through 
the Vizier of the Empire, the late Sujah ul Dowlah, 
Nabob of Oude ; and the said Bulwant Sing, in the 
commencement of the English power, did attach him- 
self to the cause of the English Company ; and the 
Court of Directors of the said Company did acknowl- 
edge, in their letter of the 2Gth of May, 1768, thpt 
" Bulwant Sing's joining us at the time he did was 
of Hiijnal service, and the stipulation in his favor was 
what he was justly entitled to " ; and they did com- 
mend "the care that had been taken [by the then 
Presidency] of those that ha 1 >hown their attachment 
to them [the Company] during the war " ; and they 
did finally express their hope and expectation hi the 
words following : " The moderation and attention 
paid to those who have espoused our interests in this 
war will restore our reputation in Hindostan, and that 
the Indian powers will be convinced NO breach of 
treaty tcill ever have our sanction." 

III. That the Rajah Bulwant Sing died on the 
23d of August, 1770, and his son, Cheyt Sing, sue- 



cceding to his rights and pretensions, the Presidency 
of Calcutta (John Cartler, Esquire, being tlicu Presi- 
dent) did instruct Captain Gabriel Harper to procure 
a confirmation of the .lUcccssiou to his son Chcyt 
Sing, " as it was of tliu utmost political import to tho 
Company's affairs ; and that the young man ought not 
to consider tho price to be paid to satisfy the rizier''8 
jealousy and avarice." And they did further de- 
clare as follows : " The strong and inviolable attach- 
ment which subsisted betwixt the Coni])any and tho 
father makes us most readily interpose our good offi- 
ces for the son." And the young Rajali aforesaid 
having agreed, under the mediation of Captain Harp- 
er, to pay near two hundred thousand pounds as a 
gift to the said Vizier, and to increase his tribute by 
near thirty thousand pounds annually, a deed of con- 
firmation was passed by thu said Vizier to tlie said 
Rajah and his heirs, by wliich he became a purchaser, 
for valuable considerations, of his riglit and inherit- 
ance in the zemi-idary aforesaid. In consequence of 
this grant, so by lii\u purchased, the Rajuii v»a3 sol- 
emnly invested with tlie government in tha city of 
Benares, " amidst tlie acclamations of a numerous 
people, and to tho great satisfaction of all parties." 
And the said Ilarper, in his letter of tlie 8th October, 
1770, giving an account of the investiture albresaid, 
did express himself in tliese words : " I will leave the 
young Rajah and others to acquaint you how I liavo 
conducted myself; only thus much let me say, that 
I have kept a strict eye not to diminish our nation- 
al honor, disinterestedness, and justice, wiuch I will 
conclude has had a greater effect in securing to the 
Company thiir vast possessions than even the force 
of arms, however formidable, could do." The Pres- 





i • 












V:- V 

t;'t ( 

'il ■ 





ident of Calcutta testified his approbation of the 
said Harper's conduct in the strongest terms, that 
is, iu the following : " Your disinterestedness hos 
beou equally distinguishable as your abilities, and 
both do you the greatest honor." 

IV. Tliat the agreement between the Rajah and 
Nabob aforesaid continued on both sides without any 
violation, under the sanction and guaranty of the 
East India Company, for three years, when Warren 
Hastings, Esquire, being then President, did propose 
a further confirmation of the said grant, and did, on 
the 12th of October, 1773, obtain a delegation for 
himself to be the person to negotiate the same: it 
being his opinion, as expressed in his report of Octo- 
ber 4th, 1773, that the Rajah was not only entitled 
to the inheritance of his zemuidary by the grants 
througli Captain Harper, but that the preceding 
treaty of Allahabad, though literally expressing no 
more than a security personal to Bulwant Sing, did, 
notwithstanding, in the true sense and import there- 
of, extend to his posterity ; " and that it had been 
difiercntly understood " (that is, not literally) " by 
the Comijaiiy, and by this administration ; and the 
Vizier had fieforr put it out of all dispute by the sol- 
emn act pas>cd in the Rajah's favor on his succession 
to the zeniiiidary." 

V. '''Iiat liie Council, in their instructions to the 
said Guvornor Hastings, did empower him " to renew, 
in behalf of the Rajah Chcyt Sing, the stipulation 
which was formerly mude witli the Vizier in consider- 
ation of his services in 1764 " ; and the government 
was accordingly settled on the Rajah and his i)Oster- 



ity, or to his heirs, on the same footing on wiiich it 
was granted to liis said i'atlier, excepting the addition 
aforesaid to tlie tribute, with an express provision 
" that HO increase shall ever here 'ter be deniuuded." 
And the grant and stipulution w •jresaid was further 
confirmed by the said Sujah ul Dowlali, under the 
Company's guaranty, by the most solemn and awful 
form of oath known in the Maliomedan religion, in- 
serted in tlic body of the deed or grunt ; and tlie said 
Warren Hastings, strongly irupres.-cd witli the opin- 
ion of the propriety of protecting the Rajah, and of 
the injustice, malice, and avarice of the said Sujah 
Dowlah, and the known family enmity subsisting be- 
tween him and the Rajah, did declare, in liis report 
to the Council, as follows : " I am well convinced that 
the Rajah's inheritance, and perhaps his life, are no 
longer safe than while he enjoys the Company's pro- 
tection, which is his due by the ties of justice and the 
obligations of public faith." 

VI. That some time after the new confirmation 
aforesaid, that is to say, in the year 1774, the Gov- 
ernor-General and Council, which had been formed 
and the members thereof appointed by act of Parlia- 
ment, did obtain the assignment of the sovereignty 
paramount of tlio said government by treaty witli the 
Nabob of Oude, by which, although the supreme do- 
minion was clKuiged, the terms and the conditions of 
the tenure of the Rajah of Benares remained ; as the 
said Xabob of Oude could transfer to the East India 
Company no other or greater estate than ho himself 
possessed in or over the said zemindary. But to olj- 
viate any misconstruction on the subject, the said 
Warren Hastings did propose to the board, that, what- 


« !l 



ft n 







y4'" I 




ever proTision might in the said treaty bo made 
for the interest of tlie Company, tlie same should be 
*' without an encroachment on tlie just rights of the 
Rajah, or the engagements actually tubaittini/ with him." 

VII. That the said Warren Hastings, then having, 
or pretending to have, an extraordinary care of the 
interest of the Rajah of Benares, did, on his transfer 
of the sovereignty, propose a new grant, to be con 
veyed in new instruments to t)io said Rajah, confe^ 
ring upon him furtlier privileges, namely, the addition 
of the sovereign rights of the mint, and of the right 
of criminal justice of life and dcatlt. And he, tlie said 
Warren Hastings, as Governor-General, did himself 
propose the resolution for that purpose in Council, 
in the following words, with remarks explanatory of 
the principles upon which the grants aforesaid were 
made, namely : — 


VIII. " That the perpetual and independent pos- 
session of the zemindary of Benares and its depend- 
encies bo confirmed and guarantied to the Rajah 
Cheyt Sing and his heirs forever, subject only to 
the annual payment of the revenues hitherto paid to 
the late Vizier, amounthig to B'3naius fc^iccu liiii)eos 
23,71,650.12, to be disposed of as is expressed in the 
following article : That no other demand be made on 
him either by the Nabob of Oitde or this government; 
nor any kind of authority cr Jurisdiction be exercised by 
either teithin the districts assigned him." To which 
minute he, the said Warren Hustings, did subjoin the 
following observation in writing, and recorded there- 
with in the Council books, that is to say: " The Ra- 

il- i 



j\ih of Benares, from the lifuaf.'yn of hU country, which 
it a frontier tn the jirovineea of Oudc and Bahir, m<vj 
be made a servirmUe alli/ to the Company, vhenev,-r 
their affair* thall require it. He hr% alwatft f'-m •■<«- 
$idered in thi» Hi/ht loth f»j the Company and th>- mo- 
cetsive mnnbers of the late Council ; but to insure hit 
attachment to the Company, hi" inter, ^f must be connect- 
ed with it, which mnnot he better ffected thai by freeing 
him totally from th- REMAINS of his present vassal- 
age under the guarani>/ and protection of the Company, 
and at the same i me guarding him agit'nst any a/ >^re- 
hensionsfrom this y 'emment, by thus pledging its faith 
that no encronchmeiu sh(dl ever be madf on his rights 
by the Company:' And the said Wai roii Hasting*, 
on the Sth of July, 1775, did himself propose, among 
other articles of the treaty relative to this object, one 
of the following tenor : " That, whilst the Rajah shall 
continue faithful to those engagements and punctual 
in his payments, and shall pay due obedience to tlie 
authority of this government, no more demands^ shall 
be made upon him by the Honorable Company of 
ANY KIND, or, on any pretence whatsoever, shall 
any person be allowed to interfere with liis authority, 
or to disturb the pcno of his country." And the 
said article was by the otiier members of the Council 
assented to without debate. 

IX. On transferring the Rajah's tribute from the 
Nabob to the Company, the stipulation with the Nar 
bob was renewed on tlie proposition of the said War- 
ren Hastings himself, and expressed ir . yet moro 
distinct manner, namely : " That no more demands 
shall be made ujiou him by the Honorable Company 
of any kind." And the said Warren Hastings, in 











i ! 

justification of his proposal of giving the Rajah " a 
complete and uncontrolled authority over his zcmin- 
dary," did enter on the Council book the following 
reasons for investing him with the same, strongly 
indicating the situation in which he must be left 
under any other circumstances, whether under the 
Nabob of Oude, or under the English, or under the 
double influence of both : " That the security of his 
person and possessions from the Company's protection 
may be rated equal to many lacs of rupees, tchich, 
though saved to him, are no loss to the government on 
which he depends, being all articles of invisible expense : 
in fees to the ministers and officers of tlic Nabob ; in 
the charges of a double establishment of vackeels to 
both governments ; in presents and charges of accom- 
modation to the Nabob, during his residence at any 
place within the boundaries of his zemindary ; in the 
frauds, embezzlements, and oppressions exercised in the 
mint and cntwally ; besides the allowed profits of those 
officers, and the advantages which every man in occa- 
sional power, or in the credit of it, might make of the 
RajaKs known weakness, and the dread he stood in 
both of the displeasure of the Nabob and the ilUvill 
of individuals among the English, who were all consid- 
ered, either in their present stations or connections, or 
the right of succession, as members of the state of Ben- 
gal. It would be scarce possible to enumorato all the 
inconveniences to which the Rajah was liable in his 
former situation, or tn estimate the precise elTcct wliich 
they produced on his revenue and on the gross 
amount of his expense ; but it may be easily con- 
ceived tliat both were enormous, and of a nature the 
most likely to lessen tlie profits of government, instead 
of adding to tliem." And in justification of his pro- 

% ■■■ 



posal of giving the Rajah the symbols of sovereignty 
in the power of life and death, and in the coining of 
money, as pledges of his independence, ho states the 
deplorable situation of princes reduced to dependence 
on the Vizier or the Company, and obliged to enter- 
tain an English Resident at their court, in the follow- 
ing words : " It is proposed to receive the payment 
of his [the Rajah's] rents at Patna, because tliat is 
the nearest provincial station, and because it would 
not frustrate the intention of rendering the Rajah inde- 
pendent. If a Resident was appointed to receive the 
monuy, as it became due, at Benares, sxich a Resident 
would unavoidably acquire an influence over the Ra- 
jah, and over his country, which would in effect render 
him the master of both. This consequence might not 
perhap., be brought completely to pass without a Ktruj- 
gle and many appeals to the Council, which, in a gov- 
ernment constituted like this, cannot fail to terminate 
against the Rajah, and, by the construction to which his 
opposition to the agent would he liable, anight eventually 
draw on him severe restrictions, and end in reducing him 
to the mean and depraved state of a mere zcmind-ir:' 

X. Tliat, in order to satisfy the said Rajah of the 
intentions of the Company towards him, and of the 
true sense and construction of the grants to him. the 
said Rnjiili, to be made, the Governor-General (he, 
the said Warren Hastings) and Council did, on the 
24th An<Tust, 1775, instruct Mr. Fowko, the Resident 
at the Rajah's court, in the following words : " It is 
proper to assure the Rajah, wc do not mean to in- 
crease his tribute, but to require from liini itn exact 
sum ; tliat, under the sovereignty of the Company, 
we are determined to leave him the free and luicon- 

' .t 









111 t'. 

K * 

trolled management of the internal government of his 
country, and the collection and regulation of the rev- 
enues, so long as he adheres to the terms of his en- 
gagement ; and will never demand any augmentation 
of the annual tribute which may be fixed." 

XL That the said Warren Hastings and the Coun- 
cil-General, not being satisfied with having instructed 
the Resident to make the representation aforesaid, to 
remove all suspicion that by the new grants any at- 
tempt should insidiously be made to change his for- 
mer tenure, did resolve that a letter should be writ- 
ten by the Governor-General himself to the Rajah of 
Benares, to be delivered to Mr. Fowke, the Resident, 
together with his credentials ; in which letter they 
declare " the board willing to continue the grant of 
the zemindary to him in ag full and ample a manner 
as he possessed it from former sovereigns ; and on his 
paying the annual tribute," &c ; — and in explaining 
the reasons for granting to him the mint and criminal 
justice, they inform him that this is done in order " that 
he may possess an xincontrollcd and free authority in 
the regulation and government of his zemindary. 

XII. That on the 2Cch February, 1776, the Board 
and Council did order that the proper instruments 
should be prepared for conveying to the Rajah afore- 
said the government and criminal justice and mint of 
Benares, with its dependencies, " ia the usual form, 
exprenK' 'he conditions already resolved on in the 
sevirnl p. feedings of the board." And on the same 
day a letter was written to the Resident at Benares, 
signifying that they had ordered the proper instru- 
ments to be prepared, specifying the terms concerning 



the remittance of the Rajah's tribute to Calcutta, as 
well as " the several other conditioru which had been al- 
ready agreed to, — and that they should forward it to 
him, to be delivered .3 the Rajah." And on the 20th 
of March following, the board did again explain the 
terms of the sa i tribute, in a letter to the Court of 
Directors, and did add, " that a tunnud [grant or 
patent] for his [Cheyt Sing's] zemindary should be 
furnished him on thete and the conditiona before agreed 


Xni. That during the course of the transactions 
aforesaid in Council, and the various assurances given 
to the Riyah and the Court of Directors, certain im- 
proper and fraudulent practices were used with regard 
to the symbols of investiture which ought to have 
been given, and the form of the deeds by which the 
said zemindary ought to have been granted. For it 
appears that the original deeds were signed by the 
board on the 4th September, 1775, and transmitted to 
Mr. Fowke, the Resident at the Rajah's court, and 
that on the 20th of November following the Court of 
Directors were acquainted by the said Warren Hast- 
ings and the Council that Rajah Cheyt Sing had been 
invested with the sunnud (charters or patents) for his 
zemindary, and the kellaut, (or robes of investiture,) 
in all the proper forms ; but on the 1st of October, 
1775, the Rajah did complain to the Governoi-Genci- 
al and Council, that the kellaut, (or robes,) with which 
he was to be invested according to their order, " /« not 
of the same kind as that which he received from the 
late Vizier on the like occasion. In consequence 
of the said complaint, the board did, in their letter to 
the Resident )i the 11th of the same month, desire 



^ '1 









him " to make inquiry respecting the nature of the 
kellaut, and invest him with one of the same soH,on 
the part of this government, mstead of that which 
they formerly described to him." And it appears 
highly probable that the instruments which accom- 
panicd the said robes of investiture were made in a 
manner conformable to the orders and directions of 
the board, and the conditions by them agreed to ; as 
the Rajah, who complained of the insufficiency of the 
robes, did make no complaint of the insufficiency of 
the instruments, or of any deviation m them from 
those he had formerly received from the Vizier. 
But a copy or duplicate of the said deeds or instru- 
mmts were in some manner surreptitiously disposed of, 
and withheld from the records of the Company, and 
never were transmitted to the Court of Directors. 

XIV That several months after the said settle- 
ment and investiture, namely, on the 15th of Apnl 
1776 the Secretary informed the Court that he had 
prepared a sunnud, cabhclut, and ;,o«aA (that is, a 
patent, an agreement, and a rent-roll) for Cheyt Smg s 
zemindary, and the board ordered the same to be ex- 
ecutcd ; but the Resident, on receiving the same, did 
tran^nit the several objections made by the Rajah 
th.'reto, and particularly to a clause in the patent 
made in direct contradiction to the engagements of 
the Council so solemnly and repeatedly given, by 
which clause the former patents are declared to U 
null That, on the representation aforesaid, on the 
29th July, the Secretary was ordered to prepare new 
and proper instruments, omiuino the rlause drclar- 
in, the former patent. ^' be null, and the said new 
pill.nts were delivered to the Rajah ; and the others, 



•which he objected to, as well as those which had been 
delivered to him originally, were returned to the 
Presidency. But neither the first set of deeds, nor 
the fraudulent patent aforesaid, nor the new instru- 
ments made out on the complaint of the Rajah, omit- 
ting the exceptionable words, have been inserted in 
the records, although it was the particular duty of 
the said Warren Hastings that all transactions with 
the country powers should be faithfully entered, as 
well as to take care that all instruments transmitted 
to them on the faith of the Company should be hon- 
estly, candidly, and fairly executed, according to the 
true intent and meaning of the engagements entered 
into on the part of the Company, — giving by the 
said complicated, artificial, and fraudulent manage- 
ment, as well as by his said omitting to record the 
said material document, strong reason to presume 
that he did even then meditate to make some evil use 
of the deeds which he thus withheld from the Com- 
pany, and which he did afterwards in reality make, 
when he found means and opportunity to effect his 
evil purpose. 

PART n. 






•I? ' 


I. That the tribute transferred to the Company by 
the treaty with the Nabob of Oude, being 250,000^ a 
year sterling, and upwards, without any deductions 
whatsoever, was paid monthly, with such punctual 
exactness as had no parallel in the Company's deal- 
ings with any of the native princes or with any sub- 
ject zemindar, being the only one who never was in 
arrears; and according to all appearance, a perfect 





harmony did prevail between the Supreme Council at 
Calcutta and the Rajah. But though the Rajah of 
Benares furnished no occasion of displeasure to the 
board, yet it since appears that the said Warren Hast- 
ings did, at some time in the year 1777, conceive di^ 
pleasure against him. In that year, he, the said 
Warren Hastings, retracted his own act of resignation 
of his office, made to the Court of Directors through 
his agent, Mr. Macleane, and, calling in vhe aid of tlio 
military to support him in his authority, brought the 
divisions of the government, according to his own 
expression, "to an extremity bordering on civil vio- 
lence " This extremity ho attributes, in a narrative 
by him transmitted to the Court of Directors, and 
printed, not to his own fraud and prevarication, but 
to what he calls " an attempt to wrest from him his 
authority"; and in the said narrative he pretends 
that the Rajah of Benares had deputed an agent with 
an express commission to his opponent, Sir John 
Clavering. This fact, if it had been true, (which is 
not proved,) was in no sort criminal or offensive to 
the Company's government, but was at first sight 
nothing more than a proper mark of duty and respect 
to the supposed succession of office. Nor is it possi- 
ble to conceive in what manner it could offend the 
said Hastings, if he did not imagine that the express 
commission to which in the said narrative he refers 
might relate to the discovery to Sir John Clavering 
of some practice which he might wish to conceal, -- 
the said Clavering, whom he styles ^^ his opponent,^ 
having been engaged, in obedience to the Company s 
express orders, in the discovery of sundry pecula- 
tions and other evil practices charged upon the said 
Hastings. But although, at the time of the said pre- 

cv I. ■ ■• ; ■■ t -' 



tended deputation, he dissembled his resentment, it 
appears to have rankled in his mind, and that he nev- 
er forgave it, of whatever nature it might have been 
(the same never having been by him explained) ; and 
some years after, he recorded it in his justification of 
lus oppressive conduct towards the Rajah, urging the 
same with great virulence and asperity, as a proof or 
presumption of his, the said Rajah's, disaffection to 
the Company's government; and by his subsequent 
acts, he seems from the first to have resolved, when 
opportunity should occur, on a severe revenge. 

II. That, having obtained, in his casting vote, a 
majority in Council on the death of Sir John Cover- 
ing and Mr. Monson, he did suddenly, and without 
any previous general communication with the mem- 
bers of the board, by a Minute of Consultation of the 
9th of July, 1778, make an extraordinary demand, 
namely : "That the Rajah of Benares should consent 
to the establishment of three regular battalions of se- 
poys, to be raised and maintained at his own expense" ; 
and the said expense was estimated at between fifty 
and sixty thousand pounds sterling. 

III. That the said requisition did suppose the con- 
sent of the Rajah, — the very word being inserted in 
the body of his, the said Warren Hastings's, minute ; 
and the same was agreed to, though with some doubts 
on the parts of two of his colleagues, Mr. Francis 
and Mr. Wheler, concerning the right of making the 
same, even worded as it was. But Mr. Francis and 
Mr. Wheler, soon after, finding that the Rajah was 
much alarmed by this departure from the treaty, 
the requisition aforesaid was strenuously opposed by 





li ^ '■ 

them. The said Hastings did, notwithstanding this 
opposition, persevere, and by his casting vote alone 
did carry the said unjust and oppressive demand. 
The Rajah submitted, after some murmuring and 
remonstrance, to pay the sum required, — but on 
the express condition (as has been frequently assert- 
ed by him to the said Warren Hastings without any 
contradiction) that the exaction should continue but 
for one year, and should not be drawn into precedent. 
He also requested that the extraordinary demand 
should be paid along with the instalments of liia 
montiily tribute: but although the said Warren 
Hastings did not so much as pretend that the in- 
stant payment was at all necessary, and though he 
was urged by his before-mentioned colleagues to mod- 
erate his proceedings, he did insist upon immediate 
payment of the whole ; and did deliver his demand 
in proud and insulting language, wholly undt for a 
governor of a civilized nation to use towards eminent 
persons in alliance with and in honorable and free 
dependence upon its government; and did support 
the same with arguments full of unwarrantable pas- 
sion, and with references to reports affecting merely 
his own personal power and consideration, which re- 
ports were not proved, nor attempted to be proved, 
and, if proved, furnishing reasons insufficient for 
his purpose, and indecent in any public proceedings. 
That the said Hastings did cause the said sums of 
money to be rigorously exacted, although no such 
regular battalions as he pretended to establish, as a 
color for his demand on the Rajah, were then raised, 
or any steps taken towards raising them ; and when 
the said Rajah pleaded his inability to pay the whole 
sum at once, he, the said Hastings, persevering in his 



said outrageous and violent demeanor, did order tho 
Eesident to wait on the Rajah forthwith, and " de- 
mand of him in person, and by writing, the full pay- 
ment in specie to be made to him within five days 
of such demand, and to declare to him, in the name 
of this government, that his evading or neglectmg to 
accomplisli the payment thereof within that ..pace of 
time should be deemed equivalent to an absolute re. 
fusal • and in case of non-compliance with this [the 
Resident's] demand, we peremptorily enjoin you to re- 
frain from all further intercourse with him " : the said 
Hastings appearing by all his proceedings to be more 
disposed to bring on a quarrel with the Prince of 
Benares, than to provide money for any public ser- 

IV That the said demand was complied with, and 
the whole thereof paid on the 10th of October that 
year. And the said Rajah did write to the said Hast- 
ines a letter, in order to mitigate and mollify him, 
declaring to the said Hastings that his sole reliance 
was on him, "and that in every instance he depend- 
ed on his faith, religion, promises, and actions. liut 
he the said Warren Hastings, as if tlie being remind- 
ed' of his faith and promises were an incentive to him 
to violate the same, although he had agreed that Ins 
demand should not be drawn into precedent, and the 
payment of the fifty thousand pounds aforesaid sliould 
continue only for one year, did, the very day after he 
had received the letter aforesaid, renew a demand ot 
the same nature and on the same pretence, this year 
even less plausible than the former, of three battal- 
ions to be raised. The said Rajah, on being infonned 
of this requisition, did remind the said Warren Hast- 



iit Si 


i ' 




ings that he engaged in the last year that but ono 
payment should be made, and that he should not be 
called upon in ftiture, and, pleading inability to dis- 
charge the new demand, declared himself iu the fol- 
lowing words to the said Warren Hastings : " I am 
therefore hopeful you will be kindly pleased to ex- 
cuse me the five lacs now demanded, and that noth- 
ing may be demanded of me beyond the amount ex- 
pressed in the pottah." 

V. That on the day after the receipt of this letter, 
that is, on the 28th August, 1779, he, the said War- 
ren Hastings, made a reply to the said letter; and 
without any remark whatsoever on the allegation of 
the Rajah, stating to him his engagement, that he, 
the said Rajah, should not be called upon in future, 
he says, " I now repeat my demand, that you do, on 
the receipt of this, without evasion or delay, pay the 
five lac of rupees into the hands of Mr. Thomas 
Graham, who has orders to receive it from you, and, 
in case of your refusal, to summon the two battal- 
ions of sepoys under the command of Major Camac 
to Benares, that measures may b? taken to oblige you 
to a compliance ; and in this case, the whole expense 
of the corpg, from the time of its march, will fall on 

VI. That the said Rajah did a second and third 
tiiue reprosent to the said Warren Hastings that 
he had broke his promise, and the said Hastings did 
in no maimer deny the same, but did, in contempt 
thereof, as well as of the original treaty between 
the Company and the Rajah, order two battaliouB 
of troops to march into his territories, and in a 



manner the most har«h, insulting, and despotic, tw 
if to provoke that prince to some act of rosietanco, did 
compel him to the payment of the said second anjust 
demand ; and did extort also the sum of two thousand 
pounds, on pretence of the charge of the troops em- 
ployed to coerce him. 

VII. That the tliird year, that is to say, in the 
year 1780, the same demand was, with the same men- 
aces, renewed, and did, as before, produce several 
humble remnistrances and submissive complaints, 
which the said Hastings did always treat as crimes 
and offences of the highest order; and although in 
the regular subsidy or tribute, which was monthly 
payable by treaty, fifty days of grace were allowed on 
each payment, ai.d after the expiration of the said 
fifty days one quarter per cent only was provided as 
a penalty, he, the said Warren Hastings, on some 
short delay of payment of his third arbitrary and 
illegal demand, did presume of his own authority to 
impose a fine or mulct of ten thousand pounds on the 
said Rajah; and though it does not appear whether 
or no the same was actually levied, the said threat 
was soon after followed by an order from the said 
Hastings for the march of troops into the country 
of Benares, as in tlie preceding year. 

VIII. That, these violent and insulting m'vasures 
failing to provoke the Rajah, and he having paid up 
tlie wliole demand, the said Warren Hastings, being 
resolved to drive him to extremities, did make on 
the said Rajah a sudden demand, over and above the 
ordinary tribute or subsidy of 260,000i. ^er annum, 
and over and above tlie 60,000i. OAiruordiuary, to 




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provide a body of cayaJry for the service of the Ben- 
gal government. 

IX. The demand, as expressed in the Minute of 
Consultation, and in the public instructions of the 
board to the Resident to make the requisition, is 
" for such part of the cavalry entertained in his ser- 
vice as he can spare "; and the demand is in this and 
in no other manner described by the Governor- Gen- 
eral and Council in their letter to the Court of Direc- 
tors. But in a Narrative of the said Warren Hast- 
ings's, addressed to Edward Wheler, Esquire, it ap- 
pears, that, upon the Rajah's making difficulties, ac- 
cording to the representation of the said Hastings, 
relative to the said requisition, the correspoiidence 
concerning which the said Hastings hath fraudulent- 
ly suppressed, he, the said Hastings, instead of adher- 
ing to the requisition of such cavalry as the Bajah 
could spare, and which was ill that by the order of 
Council he was authorized to make, did, of his own 
private and arbitrary authority, in some letter which 
he hatli suppressed, instruct the Resident, Markham, 
to make a peremptory demand for two thousand cav- 
alry, which he well knew to be more than the Rajah's 
finances could support, estimating the provision for 
the same at 96,000Z. a year at the lowest, tliough the 
expense of the same would probably have been much 
more : which extravagant demand the said Hastings 
could only have made in hopes of provoking the Ra- 
jah to some imprudent measure or passionate remon- 
strance. And this arbitrary demand of cavalry was 
made, and peremptorily insisted on, although in the 
original treaty with the said Rajah it was left entirely 
optional whether or not he should keep up any cav- 








airy at all, and in the Minute of Consultation it was 
expressly mentioned to be thus optional, and that for 
whatsoever cavalry he, the said Rajah, should fur- 
nish, he should be paid fifteen rupees per month for 
each private, and so in proportion for officers : yet 
the demand aforesaid was made without any offer 
whatsoever of providing the said payment according 
to treaty. 

X. That the said Hastings did soon after, but 
upon what grounds does not appear by any Minute 
of Council, or from any correspondence contained in 
his Narrative, reduce the demand to fifteen hundred, 
and afterwards to one thousand : by which he sliowed 
himself to be sensible of the extravagance of his first 

XI. That, in consequence of these requisitions, as 
he asserts in his Narrative aforesaid, the Rajah " did 
offer two hundred and fifty horse, but sent none." 
But the said Hastings doth not accompany his said 
Narrative with any voucher or document whatever ; 
and therefore the account given by the Rajah, and 
delivered to the said Warren Hastings himself, in- 
serted by the said Warren Hastings himself in his 
Narrative, and in no part thereof attempted to be im- 
peached, is more worthy of credit : that is to say, — 

"With respect to the horse, you desired me in 
your letter to inform you of what number I could af- 
ford to station with you. I sent you a particular ac- 
count of all that were in my service, amounting to 
one thousand three hundred horse, of which several 
were stationed at distant places ; but I received no 
answer to this. Mr. Markham delivered me an order 





j' I 




: m 

to prepare a thousand horse. In compliance with 
your wishes I collected five hundred horse, and a sub- 
stitute for the remainder, five hundred lurkunda»sei 
[matchlock-men], of which I sent you information ; 
and I told Mr. Markham that they were ready to go 
to whatever place they should be sent. No answer, 
however, came from you on this head, and I remained 
astonished at the cause of it. Repeatedly I asked 
Mr. Markham about an answer to my letter about 
the horse ; but he told me that he did not know the 
reason of no answer having been sent. I remained 

XII. That the said Hastings is guilty of an high 
offence in not giving an answer to letters of such im- 
portance, and in concealing the said letters from the 
Court of Directors, as well as much of his correspond- 
ence with the Residents, — and more particularly in 
not directing to what place the cavalry and match- 
lock-men aforesaid should be sent, when the Rajah 
had declared they were ready to go to whatever ser- 
vice should be destined for them, and afterwards in 
maliciously accusing the Rajali for not having sent 
the same. 

XIII. That, on the 3d of February, 1781, a new 
demand for the support of the three fictitious battal- 
ions of sepoys aforesaid was made by the said War- 
ren Hastings ; but whilst the Rajah was paying by in- 
stalments the said arbitrary demand, the said Rajah 
was alarmed with some intelligence of secret projects 
on foot for his ruin, and, being well apprised of the 
malicious and revengeful temper of the said Hastings, 
in order to pacify him, if possible, offered to redeem 

.i u 

m 111 




himself by a large ransom, to the amount of two hun- 
dred thousand pounds sterling, to bo paid for the use 
of the Company. And it appears that the said alarm 
was far from groundless ; for Major Palmer, one of 
the secret and confidential agents of the said Hast- 
ings, hath sworn, on the 4th of December, 1781, at the 
desire of the said Warren Hastings, before Sir Elijal, 
Impey, to the following effect, that is to say : " Tliat 
the said Warren Hastings had told him, the said 
Palmer, that he, the said Hastings, had rejected the 
offer of two hundred thousand pounds made by tlie 
Rajah of Benares for the public service, and that he 
was resolved to convert the faults committed by the Ra- 
jah into a pvhlio benefit, and would exact the sum of 
five hundred thousand pounds, as a punishment for 
his breach of engagements with the government of 
Bengal, and acts of misconduct in his zemindary ; and 
if the Rajah should absolutely refuse the demand, that 
he would deprive him of his zemindary, or transfer the 
sovereignty thereof to the Nabob of Oude." 

XIV. And Mr. Anderson, in his declaration from 
Sindia's camp, of the 4th of January, 1782, did also, 
at the > 'Sire of Mr. Hastings, depose (though not ou 
oath) concerning a conversation between him and 
the said Hastings (but mentioning neither the time 
nor place where the same was held) ; in which con- 
versation, after reciting the allegations of th^ said 
Hastings relative to several particulars of the delay 
and backwardness of the Rajah in paying the afore- 
said extra demand, and his resolution to exact from 
the Rajah " a considerable sum of money to the relief 
of the Company's exigencies," he proceeds in the fol- 
lowing words: "That, if he [the Rajah] consented, 






you [tb ''aid W^arren Hastings] were desiroiis of es- 
tablishiny his possessions on the most permanent and 
eligible footing; but if he refused, you had it in your 
power to raise a large sum for the Company by ac- 
cepting an offer which had been made for his districts 
by the Vizier." And the said Anderson, in the dec- 
laration aforesaid, made at the request of the said 
Hastings, and addressed to him, expressed himself 
as follows : " That you told me you had communicat- 
ed our designs to Mr, Wheler [his only remaining 
colleague] ; and I believe, but I do not positively 
recollect, you said he concurred in them." But 
no trace of any such communication or concurrence 
did, at the time referred to, or at any time ever af- 
ter, appear on the Consultations, as it ought to have 
done ; and the said Hastings is criminal for having 
omitted to enter and record the proceeding. That 
the said Wheler did also declare, but a considerable 
time after the date of the conversations aforesaid, 
that, " on the eve of the Governor-General's depart- 
ure, the said Hastings had told him that the Rajah's 
offences (not stating what offences, he having paid 
up all the demands, ordinary and extraordinary) 
were declared to require early punishment; and as 
his wealth vis great, and the Company's exigencies 
pressing, it was thought a me".snre of policy and of 
justice to exact from him a large pecuniary mulct 
for their relief. The sum to which the Governor de- 
clared liis resolution to extend the fine was forty or 
fifty lacs ; his ability to pay it was stated as a fact 
that could not admit of a doubt ; and the two alter- 
natives on which the Governor declared himself to 
have resolved were, to the best of my recollection, 
either a removal from his zemindary entirely, or, by 



taking immediate possession of all his forts, to obtain 
out of the treasure deposited in them the above sum 
for the Company." 

XV. That in the declaration of the said Wheler 
the time of the conversation aforesaid is stated to be 
on the eve of the Governor's departure, and then said 
to be confidential ; nor is it said or insinuated that 
he knew or ever heard thereof at a more early pe- 
riod, though it appears by Major Palmer's affidavit 
that the design of taking, not four or five, but abso- 
lutely five, hundred thousand pounds from the Rajah, 
was communicated to him as early as the month of 
June. And it does not appear by the declarations 
of the said Wheler he did ever cas'ially or officially 
approve of the measure; which long concealment 
and late communication, time not being allowed to 
his colleague to consider the nature and consequences 
of sutiU a project, or to advise any precaution con- 
cerniiig the same, is a high misdemeanor. 

XVI. That the said Hastings, having formed a 
resolution to execute one of the three violent and 
arbitrary resolutions aforesaid, — namely, to sell the 
Company's sovereignty over Benares to the Nabob of 
Oude, or to dispossess the Rajah of his territories, or 
to seize upon his forts, and to plunder them of the 
treasure therein contained, to the amount of four or 
five hundred thousand pounds, — did reject the offer 
of two hundred thousand pounds, tendered by the 
said Rajah for his redemption from the injuries which 
ho had discovered that the said Hastings had clan- 
destinely meditated against him, although the sum 
aforesaid would have been a considerable and season- 


( I 



i| i 


•if A 




able acquisition at that time : the said Hastings be- 
mg determined, at a critical period, to risk the exist- 
ence of the British empire, rather than fail in the 
gratification of his revenge against the said Rajah. 

XVII. That the first of his three instituted prqj- 
ects, namely, the depriving the Rajah of his territo- 
ries, \^as by himself considered as a measure likely 
to be productive of much odium to the British gov- 
ernment: he having declared, whatever opinions he 
might entertain of its justice, " that it would have 
an appearance of teverity, and might furnish grounds 
unfavorable to the credit of our government, and to his 
own reputation, from the natural influence wliich 
every act of rigor, exercised in the persons of men 
in elevated situations, is apt to impress on those who 
are too remote from the scene of action to judge, by 
any evidence of the facts themselves, of their mo- 
tives or propriety." And the second attempt, the 
sum of money which he aimed at by attacking the 
fortresses of the Rajah, and plundering them of tlie 
treasure supposed to be there secured, besides tlie ob- 
vious uncertainty of acquiring what was tlms sought, 
would be liable to the same imputations with tlio for- 
mer. And with regard to the third project, namely, 
the sale of the Company's sovereignty to the Nabob 
of Oude, and his having actually received proposals 
for the sume, it was an high ofience to the Company, 
as presuming, without their authority or consent, to 
put up to sale their sovereign rights, and particularly 
to put them up to sale to that very person against 
whom the independence of the said province had 
been declared by the Governor-General iind Council 
to be necessary, as a barrier for the security of the 



other provinces, in cneo of a future rupture with liira.* 
It was an heinous injury to the said Rajah to attempt 
to change his relation without his consent, especial- 
ly on account of the person to wliom ho was to be 
made over for money, by reason of the known enmity 
subsisting between his family and that of the Nabob, 
who was to be the purchaser ; and it was a grievous 
outrage on the innocent inhabitants of the zcmindary 
of Benares to propose putting them under a person 
long before described by himself to the Court of Di- 
rectors " to want the qualities of the head and heart 
requisite for his station " : f' lector from the 
British Resident at Oude, d to the said 

Court, represents him "to oily lost, by his 

oppressions, the confidence ..ions ^f his own 

subjects" ; and whose dist.eBSfcs, and th known dis- 
orders in his government, he, the said Hastings, did 
attribute solely to his own bad conduct and evil 
character ; admitting also, in a letter written to Ed- 
ward Whcler, Esquire, and transmitted to the Court 
of Directors, " that many circumstances did favor sus- 
picion of his [the said Nabob's] fidelity to the Eng- 
lish interest, the Nabob being surrounded by men 
base in their characters and improvident in their un- 
derstandings, his favorites, and his companions of his 
looser hours. These had every cause to dread the 
effect of my influence on theirs ; and both these, and 
the relations of the family, whose views of conse- 
quence and power were intercepted by our participa- 
tion in the administration of his affairs, entertained 
a mortal hatred to our nation, and openly avowed it." 
And the said Hastings was well aware, that, in case 
the Nabob, by him described in the manner aforesaid, 


* See Hastings's Letter. 





-.1 , 








on making such purchase, ghould continue to observe 
the terms of his father's original covenants and en- 
gagoi"'nts with the Rajah, and should pay the com- 
pany the only tribute which he could lawfully exact 
from the said Rajah, it was impossible that he could, 
for the mere naked and unprofitable rights of a sov- 
ereignty paramount, afford to offer so great a sum as 
the Rajah did offer to the said Hastings for his re- 
demption from oppression; such an acquisition to 
the Nabob (while he kept his faith) could not possi- 
bly be of any advantage whatever to him ; and that 
therefore, if a great sum was to be paid by the Nabob 
of Oude, it must be for the purpose of oppression 
and violation of public faith, to be perpetrated in the 
person of the said Nabob, to an extent and in a 
manner which the said Hastings was then apprehen- 
sive he could not justify to the Court of Directors as 
his own personal act. 


PART in. 


I. That the said Warren Hastings, being resolved 
on the ruin of the Rajah aforesaid, as a preliminary 
step thereto, did, against the express orders of the 
Court of Directors, remove Francis Fowke, Esquire, 
the Company's Resident at the city of Benares, with- 
out any complaint or pretence of complaint whatso- 
ever, but merely on his own declaration that he must 
have as a Resident at Benares a person of his own 
special and personal nomination and confidence, and 
not a man of the Company's nomination, — and in 
the place of the said Francis Fowke, thus illegally 
divested of his office, did appoint thereto another ser- 
vant of the Company of his own choice. 

■ fcf- -■ (t*tas 




II. That, soon after ho had removed the Compa- 
ny's Resident, ho prepared for a journey to the upper 
provinces, and particularly to Benares, in order to 
execute the wicked and perfidious designs by him be- 
fore meditated and contrived : and although he did 
•ommunicate his purpose privately to .^uch persons as 
he thought fit to intrust therewith, ho did not enter 
anything on the Consultations to that purpose, or 
record the principles, real or pretended, on wluch he 
had resolved to act, nor did he state any guilt in the 
Rajah which he intended to punish or charge him, 
the said R'''h, with entertaininf • hostile inten- 
tions, the effet s of which were to be prevented by any 
strong measure ; but, on the contrary, he did indus- 
triously conceal his real designs from the Court of 
Directors, and did fallaciously enter on the Consulta- 
tions a minute declaratory of purposes wholly different 
therefrom, and which supposed nothing more than an 
amicable adjustment, founded on tlie treaties between 
the Company and the Rajah, Investing himself by his 
said minute with " full power and authority to form 
such arrangements with the Rajah of Benares for 'le 
better government and management of his zcmindary, 
and to perform such acts for the improvement of the 
interest which the Company possesses in it, as he 
shall think fit and consonant to the mutual engage^ 
ments suhsisting between the Compang and th' Ra- 
jah " ; and for this and other purposes he did in- 
vest himself with the whole power of the Council, 
giving to himself an authority as if his acts had been 
the acts of the Council itself: which, tnough a pow- 
er of a dangerous, unwarrantable, and illegal extent, 
yet does plainly imply tlie following limits, namely, 
that the acts done shotild be arranged tvith the Rajah, 







! .\< 



that is, with hi$ content; and, secondly, that they 
should be consonant to the '-tual engagements be- 
tween the parties; and nothi. „ appears in the min- 
ute conferring the said power, which did express or 
imply any authority for depriving the Rajah of hw 
government, or selling the sovereignty thereof to his 
hereditary enemy, or for the plunder of his fort-treas- 

III. That the said Warren Hastings, having formed 
tho aforesaid for the ruin of the Rajah, did set 
out on a journey to the city of Bonare^ with a great 
train, but with a very small force, not much exceed- 
ing six companies of regular black soldiers, to per- 
petrate some of the unjust and violent acts by him 
meditated and resolvcl on ; and the said Hastings 
was met, according to the usage of distinguished per- 
sons in that country, by the Rajah of Benares with a 
very great attendance, both in boats and on s\y^- 
which attendance he did apparently intend as a maxK 
of honor and observance to the place and person of 
the said Hastings, but which the said Hastings did 
afterwards groundlessly and maliciously represent as 
an indication of a design upon his life ; and the said 
Rajah came into the pinnace in which the said Hast- 
ings was carried, and in a lowly and suppliant man- 
ner, alone, and without any guard or attendance 
whatsoever, entreated his favor ; and boing received 
with great sternness and arrogance, he did put his 
turban in the lap of the said Hastings, thereby signi- 
fying that he abandoned his life and fortune to his 
disposal, and then departed, the said Hastings not ap- 
prehending, nor having any reason to apprehend, any 
violence whatsoever to his person. 




IV. That tho said Hastings, in tl»o utmost security 
and freedom from apprehension, did pursue his joui 
ney, and did arrive at tlie city of Benares on the 14tli 
of August, 1781, some hours before f'c Rajah, who, 
Boon after his arrival, intended to pay him a visit of 
honor and ro^'pcct at his quarters, hut was by the said 
Hastings rudely and insolently forbid, until he shouM 
receive his permission. And the said Hastings, al- 
though he had previously determined on tlie ruin of 
the said Rajah, in order to afford some color of regu- 
larity and justice to his proceedings, did, on the »lay 
after his arrival, that is, on tho 15th day of August, 
1781, send to the Rajah a charge in writing, which, 
though informal and irregular, may bo reduced to four 
articles, two general, and two more particular : the 
first of the general being, " That he [the Rajuh] had, 
by tho moans of his secret agents, endeavored to excite 
disorders in the government on which ho depended " ; 
tho second, " That ho had suffered tho daili/ perpetra- 
tion of robberies and murders, even in the streets of 
Benares, to the great and public scandal of the Eng- 
lish name." 

V. That it appears that the said "Warren Hastings 
is guilty of an high offence, contrary to the fundi' men- 
tal principles of juMice, in the said mo<!o of charging 
misdemeanors, without any specification of pcrsoi- or 
place or tiae or act, or any offer of specificat' 
proofs by which the party charged may be enabiui 
to refute the same, in order to unjustly load his repu- 
tation, and to prejudice him witli regard to the arti- 
cles more cleP'-\ specified. 

VI. Tliat the two specified articles relate to cer- 







|i ' 

/ ' 

tail! delays : the first, with regard to the payment of 
the sums of money unjustly extorted as aforesaid ; 
and the second, the non-compliance with a requisition 
of cavalry, — which non-compliance the said Hast- 
ings (even if the said charges liad been founded) did 
falsely, and in contradiction to all law, affirm and 
maintain (in his accusation against the Rajah, and 
addressing himself to him) " to amount to a direct 
charge of disaffection and infidelity to the government 
on wliich you depend": and further proceeded aa 
follows : " I tlierefore judged it proper to state them 
[the said charges] thus fully to you in writing, and to 
require your answer ; and this I expect immediately." 
That the said Hastings, stating his pretended facts to 
amount to a charge of the nature (as he would have 
it understood) of high treason, and therefore calling 
for an immediate answer, did wilfully act against the 
rules of natural justice, which requires that a conven- 
ient time should be given to answer, proportioned to 
tlie greatness of the offence alleged, and the heavy 
penalties which attend it ; and when he did arrogate 
to himself a right both to charge and to judge in his 
own person, he ought to have allowed the Rajah full 
opportunity for confen-ing with his ministers, his doc- 
tors of law, and his accountants, on the facts charged, 
and on the criminality inferred in the said accusation 
of disloyalty and disaffection, or offences of that qual- 

i* SJi 

VH. That the said Rajah did, under the pressure 
of the disadvantages aforesaid, deliver in, upon llie 
very evening of tlie day of the charge, a full, complete, 
and specific answer to the two articles therein speci- 
fied ; and did allege and offer proof that the whole of 



the extraordinary demands of the said Hastings had 
been actually long before paid and discharged ; and 
did state a proper defence with regard to the cavalry, 
even supposing him bound (when he was not bound) 
to furnish any. And the said Rajah did make a di- 
rect denial of the truth of the two general articles, and 
did explain himself on the same in as satisfactory a 
manner and as fully as their nature could permit, of- 
fering to enter into immediate trial of the points in 
issue between him and the said Hastings, in the re- 
markable words following. " My enemies, with a view 
to my ruin, have made false representations to you. 
Now that, happily for me, you have yourself arrived 
at this place, you will be able to ascertain all the cir- 
cumstances : first, relative to the horse ; secondly, to 
my people going to Calcutta; and thirdly, the dates 
of the receipts of the particular sums above mentioned. 
You will then know whether I have amused you with 
a Mse representation, or made a just report to you." 
And in the said answer the said Rajah complained, 
but in the most modest terms, of an iujury to him of 
the most dangerous and criminal nature in transac- 
tions of such moment, namely, his not receiving any 
answer to his letters and petitions, and concluded in 
the following words. " I have never swerved in the 
smallest degree from my duty to you. It remains 
with you to decide on all these matters. I am in 
every case your slave. What is just I have repre- 
sented to you. May your prosperity increase!" 

Vni. That the said Warren Hastings was bound 
by the essential principles of natural justice to attend 
to the claim made by the Rajah to a fair and impar- 
tial trial and inquiry into the matter of accusation 





■ >i 








brought against him by the said Hastings, at a time 
and place which furnished all proper materials and the 
presence of all necessary witnesses ; but the said Hast- 
ings, instead of instituting the said inquiry and grant- 
ing trial, did receive an humble request for justice 
from a great prince as a fresh offence, and as a per- 
sonal insult to himself, and did conceive a violent pas- 
sion of anger and a strong resentment thereat, declar- 
ing that he did consider the said answer as not only 
unsatisfactory in substance, but offensive in style. 
" This answer you will perceive to be not only unsat- 
isfactory in substance, but offensive in style, and less 
a vindication of himself than a recrimination on me. 
It expresses no concern for the causes of complaint 
contained in my letter, or desire to atone for them, 
nor the smallest intention to pursue a different line 
of conduct. An answer couched nearly in terms of 
defiance to requisitions of so serious a nature I could 
not but consider as a strong indication of that spirit of 
independency which the Rajah has for some years past 
assumed, and of which indeed I had early observed 
other manifest symptoms, both before and from the 
instant of my arrival." Which representation is al- 
together and in all parts thereof groundless and inju- 
rious ; as the ^abstance of the answer is a justification 
proper to be pleaded, and the style, if in anything 
exceptionable, it is in its extreme humility, resulting 
rather from an unmanly and abject spirit than from 
anything of an offensive liberty ; but being received 
as disrespectful by the said Hastings, it abundantly 
indicates the tyi'annical arrogance of the said Hast- 
ings, and the depression into which the natives are 
sunk under the British government. 




IX. That the said Warren Hastings, pretending 
to have been much alarmed at the offensive language 
of the said Rajah's defence, and at certain appearances 
of independency which he had observed, not only on 
former occasions, but since his arrival at Benares, 
(where he had been but little more than one day,) 
and which appearances he never has specified in any 
one instance, did assert that he conceived himself in- 
dispensably obliged to adopt some decisive plan ; and 
without any further inquiry or consultation (which 
appears) with any person, did, at ten o'clock of the 
very night on which he received the before-mentioned 
full and satisfactory as well as submissive answer, 
send an order to the British Resident (then being a 
public minister representing the British government 
at the court of the said Rajah, and as such bound 
by the law of nations to respect the prince at whose 
cou -t he was Resident, and not to attempt anythmg 
aga.iist his person or state, and who ought not, there- 
fore, to have been chosen by the said Hastings, and 
compelled to serve in that business) that he should 
on the next morning arrest the said prince in his pal- 
ace, and keep him in his custody until further orders ; 
which said order being conceived in the most peremp- 
tory terms, the Rajah was put under arrest, with a 
guard of about thirty orderly sepoys, with their swords 
drawn ; and the particulars thereof were reported to 
him as follows. 

"Honorable Sir, — I this morning, in obedience 
to your orders of last night, proceeded with a few of 
my orderlies, accompanied by Lieutenant Stalker, to 
Shewalla Ghuat, the present residence of Rajah Cheyt 
Sing, and acquainted him it was your pleasure he 



, I 







should consider himsc'-f in arrest ; that he should or- 
der his people to behave in a quiet and orderly man- 
ner, for that any attempt ta rescue him would be at- 
tended wit/i his own destruction. The Rajah submit- 
ted quietly to the arrest, and assured me, that, what- 
ever were your orders, he was ready implicitly to 
obey ; he hoped that you would allow him a subsist' 
ence, but as for his zemindary, his forts, and his treas- 
ure, he was ready to lay them at your feet, and his life, 
if required. He expressed himself much hurt at the 
ignominy which he affirmed must be the consequence 
of his confinement, and entreated me to return to you 
with the foregoing submission, hoping that you would 
make allowances for his youth and inexperience, and 
in consideration of his father's name release him from 
his confinement, as soon as he should prove the sincer- 
ity of his oSers, and himself deserving of your com- 
passion and forgiveness." 

X. That a further order was given, that every ser- 
vant of the Rajah's should be disarmed, and a certain 
number only left to attend him under a strict watch. 
In a quarter of an hour after this conversation, two 
companies of grenadier sepoys were sent to the Ra- 
jah's palace by the said Hastings ; and the Rajah, 
being dismayed by this unexpected and unprovoked 
treatment, wrote two short letters or petitions to the 
said Hastings, under the greatest apparent dejection 
at the outrage and dishonor he had suffered in tho 
eyes of his subjects, (all imprisonment of persons of 
rank being held in that country as a mark of indeli- 
ble infamy, and he also, in all probability, considering 
his imprisonment as a prelude to the taking away hia 
life,) and in the first of the said petitions he did cx- 

. J !si.: 




press himself in this manner : " Whatever may be 
your pleasure, do it with your own hands ; I am your 
slave. What occasion can there be for a guard ? " 
And in the other : " My honor was bestowed upon 
me by your Highness. It depends on you alone to 
take away or not to take away the country oat of my 
hands. In case my honor is not left to me, how 
shall I be equal to the business oi the government ? 
Whoever, with his hands in a supplicating posture, 
is ready with his life and property, what necessity 
can there be for him to be dealt with in tuis way ? " 

XI. That, according to the said Hastings's narra- 
tive of this transaction, he, the said Hastings, on ac- 
count of the apparent despondency in wliich these 
letters were written, "thought it nec:>'Hary to give 
him gome encouragement," and therefore wrote him 
a note of a few lines, carelessly and haughtily ex- 
pressed, and little calculated to relieve him from his 
uneasiness, promising to send to hira a person to ex- 
plain particulars, and desiring him " to set his mind 
at rest, and not to conceive any terrrr or apprehen- 
sion." To which an answer of great humility and 
dejection was received. 

XII. That the report of t'^e Rajah's arrest did 
cause a great alarm in the city, in the suburbs of 
which the Rajah's palace is situated, and in the ad- 
jacent country. The people were filled with dismn.y 
and auger at the outrage and indignity offered to a 
prince under whose government they enjoyed much 
ease and happiness. U der these circumstances the 
Rajah desired leave to perform his ablutions ; which 
was refused, unless he sent for water, and performed 

j f« 


'' '^ 



»• « 

that ceremony on the spot. This he did. And soon 
after some of the people, who now began to surround 
tho palace in considerable numbers, attempting to 
force their way into the palace, a British officer, com- 
manding the guard upon the Rajah, struck one of 
them with his sword. The people grew more and 
more irritated; but a message being sent from the 
Rajah to appease them, they continued, on this inter- 
position, for a while quiet. Then the Rajah retired 
to a sort of stone pavilion, or bastion, to perform his 
devotions, the guard of sepoys attending him in this 
act of religion. In the mean time a person of the 
meanest station, called a chuhdar, at best answering 
to our common beadle or tipstaff, was sent with a 
message (of what nature does not appear) from Mr. 
Hastings, or the Resident, to the prince under ar- 
rest : and this base person, without reg :rd to the 
rank of the prisoner, or to his then occupation, ad- 
dressed him in a rude, boisterous manner, " passion- 
ately and insultingly," (as the said Rajah has with- 
out contradiction asserted,) " and, reviling him with 
a loud voice, gave both him and his people the vilest 
abuse " ; and the manner and matter being observa- 
ble and audible to the multitude, divided only by an 
open stone lattice from the scene within, a firing 
commenced from without the palace ; on which the 
Rajah again interposed, and did what in him lay to 
suppress the tumult, until, an English officer striking 
him with a sword, and wounding him on the hand, 
the people no longer kept any measures, but broke 
through the inclosure of the palace. The insolent 
tipstaff was first cut down, and the multitude falling 
upon the sepoys and the English officers, the whole, 
or nearly the whole, were cut to pieces : the soldiers 





having been ordered to that service without any 
charges for their pieces. And in this tumult, the Ra- 
jah, being justly fearful of falling into the hands of 
the so'd Hastings, did make his escape over the walls 
of his palace, by means of a rope formed of his turban 
tied together, into a boat upon the river, and from 
thence into a place of security ; abandoning many of 
his family to the discretion of the said Hastings, who 
did cause the said palace to be occupied by a compa- 
ny of soldiers after the flight of the Rajah. 

Xin. That the Rajah, as soon as he had arrived 
at a place of refuge, did, on the very day of his flight, 
send a suppliant letter to the said Hastings, filled 
with expressions of concern (affirmed by the said 
Hastings to be slight expressions) for what had hap- 
pened, and professions (said by the said Hastings 
to bo indefinite and unapplied) of fidelity : but the 
Haid Warren Hastings, though bound by his duty to 
hear the said Rajah, and to prevent extremities, if 
possible, being filled with insolence and malice, did 
not think it " becoming of him to make any reply to 
it ; and that he thought he ordered the bearer of the 
letter to be told that it required none." 

XIV. That this letter of siibmission having been 
received, the said Rajah, not discouraged or provoked 
from using every attempt towards peace and recon- 
ciliation, did a:;ain apply, on the very morning fol- 
lowing, to Richard Johnson, Esquire, for his interpo- 
sition, but to no purpose ; and did likewise, with as 
little effect, send a message to Cantoo Baboo, native 
steward and confidential agent of the said Hastings, 
which was afterwards reduced into writing, " to ex- 





( 'I 







culpate himself from any concern in what had passed, 
and to profess his obedience to his will [Hastings's] 
in whatever way he should dictate." But the said 
Hastings, for several false and contradictory reasons 
by him assigned, did not take any advantage of the 
said opening, attributing the same to artifice in order 
to gain time ; but instead of accepting the said sub- 
missions, he did resolve up< <u fliglit from the city of 
Benares, and did suddenly fly therefrom in great con- 

I M 

XY. That the said Hastings did persevere in his 
resolutions not to listen to any submission or offer of 
accommodation whatsoever, though several were after- 
wards made through almost every person who might 
be supposed to have influence with liim, but did cause 
the Rajah's troops to be attacked and fallen upon, 
though they only acted on the defensive, (as the Ra- 
jah has without contradiction asserted,) and thereby, 
and by his preceding refusal of propositions of tlie 
same nature, and by other his perfidious, unjust, 
and tyrannical acts by him perpetrated and done, 
and by his total improvidence in not taking any one 
rational security whatsoever against the inevitable 
consequences of those acts, did make himself guilty 
if all the mutual slaughter and devastation which 
ensued, as well as, in his opinion, of the imminent 
danger of the total subversion of the British power in 
India by the risk of his own person, which he asserts 
that it did run, — as also " that it ought not to be 
thought that he attributed too much consequence to 
his personal safety, when he supposed the fate qf the 
Britinh empire in India connected with it, and that, 
mean as its substance may be, its accidental qualities 


I: « 



were equivalent to those which, like tho characters 
of a talisman in the Arabian mythology, formed the 
essence of the state itself, representation, title, and tho 
estimate of the public opinion ; that, had he fallen, 
such a stroke would be universally considered as de- 
cisive of the national fate ; every state round it would 
have started into arms against it, and every subject of 
its jwn dominion would, according to their several abili 
ties, have become its enemy" : and that he knew and has 
declared, that, though the said stroke was not struck, 
that great convulsions did actually ensue from his pro- 
ceedings, " that half the province of Oude was in a 
state of as complete rebellion as that of Benares," and 
that invasions, tumults, and insurrections were occa- 
sioned thereby in various other parts. 

XVI. That the said Warren Hastings, after he had 
collected his forces from all parts, did, with little dif- 
ficulty or bloodshed, subsequent to that time, on the 
part of his troops, and in a few days, entirely reduce 
the said province of Benares ; and did, after the said 
short and little resisted hostility, in cold blood, issue 
an order for burning a certain town, in which he ac- 
cused the people at large of having killed, "upon 
what provocat n he knows not," certain wounded 
sepoys, who were prisoners : which order, being gener- 
ally given, when it was his duty to have made some 
inquiry concerning the particular offenders, but which 
he did never make, or cause to be made, was cruel, 
inhuman, and tended to the destruction of the reve- 
nues of the Company ; and that this, and other acts 
of devastation, did cause the loss of two months of 
the collections. 

J" I I 








; J 








XVII. That tlio said Warren Hastings did not on- 
ly refuse the siibmissions of the said Rajah, which 
were frequently repeated through various persons 
after he had left Benares, and even after the defeat 
of certain of the Company's forces, but did proscribe 
and except him from the pardons which he issued 
after he had satisfied his vengeance on the province 
of Benares. 

XYIII. That the said Warren Hastings did send 
to a certain castle, called Bidzigur, the residence of 
a person of high rank, caW>A Panna, the mother of 
the Rajah of Benares, with whom his wife, a woman 
descri d by the said Hastings " to be of an amiablo 
character," and all the otlier women of the Rajah'f 
family, and the Furvivors of the family of his father, 
Bulwant Sing, did then reside, a body of troops to 
dispossess them of her said residence, and to seize 
upon lier money and effects, although she did not 
stand, even by himself, accused of any offence what- 
soever, — pretending, but not proving, and not at- 
tempting to prove, then nor since, that the treasures 
therein contained were the property of the Rajah, 
and not her own ; and did, in order to stimulate the 
British soldiery to rapine and outrage, issue to them 
several barbarous orders, contrary to the practice of 
civilized natious, relative to their property, movable 
and immovable, attended with imworthy and unbe- 
coming menaces, highly offensive to the manners of 
the East and the particular respect there paid to the 
female sex, — which letters and orders, as well as the 
letters which he had received from the officers con- 
cerned, the said Hastings did unlawfully suppress, 
until forced by the disputes between him nnd the said 



officers to discover the saiao : and the said orders aro 
as follow. 

" I am this instant favored with yours of yesterday. 
Mine of the same dato [22d October, 1781] has be- 
fore this time acqnaiiitcJ you with my resolutions 
and sentiments respecting tlie Rannco [the mother 
of the Rajah Chcyt Sing]. I think every demand she 
has made to you, excopt that of safety and respect for 
her person, is unreasonable. If tlie reports brought 
to me are true, your rejecting her offers, or any nego' 
tiatinna with her, would soon obtain you possession of 
the fort upon your own terms. I apprehend that she 
will contrive to defraud the captors of a considerable 
par* of the booty by being suffered to retire without 
examination. But this is your consideration, and not 
mine. I should be very <orry that your officers and sol- 
diers lost ANY PART of the rewara :o which they 
are so icell entitled ; but I cannot make any objection, 
as you must bo the best judge of the expediency of the 
promised indulgence to the Rannee. What you have 
engaged for I will certainly ratify ; but as to permit- 
ting the Rannee to hold tbo purgunnah of Hurluk, 
or any other in the zemindary, without being subject to 
the authority of the zemindar, or any lands whatever, 
or indeed making any conditions with her for a provis- 
ion, I will never consent to it." And in another letter 
to the same person, dated Benares, 3d of November, 
1781, in which he, the said Hastings, consents that 
the said woman of distinction should be allowed to 
evacuate the place and to receive protection, he did 
express himself as follows. " I am willing to grant 
her now the same conditions to which I at first con- 
sented, provided that she delivers into your posses- 
sion, within twenty-four hours from the time of r&- 



'i' i 












' ■ r 







oo'ving your messngo, the fort of Bidzigur, with the 
treasure and effects lodged therein by Clicyt Sing or 
any of his adherents, with the reserve only, as alwve 
mentioned, of such articles at you \aU think necetta- 
ry to her »ex and condition, or as you shall be disposed 
f(f yourself to indulge her with. If she complies, ?,s I 
expect the will, it will be your part to secure the fort 

xd the property it 'ontains for the benefit of your- 
self a id detachment. I have only further to roquest 
that you will grant an escort, if Panna 8houi<l re- 
quire it, to conduct her here, or wherever she may 
choose to retire to. But should she refuse to exe- 
cute the promise she has made, or delay it beyond the 
term / twenty-four hours, it is my positive injunction 
that you immediately put a stop to any further inter- 
course or negotiation with her, and on no pretext re- 
new it. If she disappoints or trifles with me, after I 
have subjected my duan to the disgrace of returning 
meffectually, and of course myself to discredit, I shall 
consider it as a wanton affront and indignity uhich J 
can never forgive, nor will I grant her any conditions 
whatever, but leave her exposed to those dangers 
which she has chosen to risk rather than trust to the 
clemency and generosity of our government. I think 
the cannot be ignorant of these consequences, and ivill 
not venture to incur them ; and it is for this reason I 
place a dependence on her offers, and have consented 

to send my duan to her." 

XIX. That the castle aforesaid being surrendered 
upon terms of safety, and on express condition of not 
attempting to si irch their persons, the woman of rank 
aforesaid, her female relations and female dependants, 
to the number of three hundred, besides children, 




eraouated the snid castio ; but tho spirit of rapacity 
being excited hy tho letters and other proceedings 
of the said HaKtings, tiio capitulation was simmofully 
and outrf peotisly broken, and, in doKpito of tho cii- 
deavors of tiio commanding officer, tlio said woman of 
high condition, ai. ^ her fcmalo dependants, friends, 
and servants, were phuidored of tho ofiects tlioy car- 
ried with tliem. and wliich wore reserved to tlicm in 
tho capitulation of their fortress, and in their persons 
wore otherwise rudely and inhumanly doalt with by 
tho licentious followers of tho camp : for which out- 
rages, represented to tin' said Hastings with great 
concern by the commanding officer, Major Popliani, 
ho, tho said Hastings, did afterwards rocomnicnd a 
lato and fruitless redress. 


XX. That tho Governor-General, "Warren Has^ 
ings, in exciting tho hopes of tho military liy de- 
claring them well entitled to the plunder of the fort- 
ress aforesaid, the residence of tho 'noclier ond other 
women of the Rajah of Benares, and by wishing tlio 
troops to secure tlie same for their own benefit, did 
advise and act in direct contradiction to the orders 
of the Court of Directors, and to his own opinion of 
his public duty, as well as to the truth and reality 
thereof, — he having some years before entered in 
writing tho declaration which follows. 

" The very idea of prize-money suggests to my re- 
membrance the former disorders which arose in our 
army from this source, and had almost proved fatal to 
it. Of this circumstance you must be sufficiently 
apprised, and of the necessity for discouraging every 
expectation of this kind amongst the troops. It is to 
he avoided like poison. Tho bad effects of a similar 



iM il 







1 . 


measure were but too plainly felt in a former period, 
and our honorable masters did not fail on that occa- 
sion to reprobate with their censure, in the most se- 
vere terms, a practice which they regarded as the 
source of infinite evils, and which, if estabhshed, 
would in their judgment necessarily bring corruption 
and ruin on their army." 

XXI. That the said Hastings, after he had given 
the license aforesaid, and that in consequence there- 
of the booty found in the castle, to the amount of 
23,27,813 current rupees, was distributed among the 
soldiers employed in its reduction, the said Hastings 
did retract his declaration of right, and his permis- 
sion to the soldiers to appropriate to themselves the 
plunder, and endeavored, by various devices and ar- 
tifices, to explain the same away, and to recover the 
spoil aforesaid for the use of the Company ; and 
wholly failing in his attempts to resume by a breach 
of faith with the soldiers what he had unlawfully dis- 
posed of by a breach of duty to his constituents, he 
attempted to obtain the same as a loan, in which at- 
tempt he also failed ; and the aforesaid money being 
the only part of the treasures belonging to the Rajah, 
or any of his family, that had been found, he was 
altogether frustrated in the acquisition of every part 
of that dishonorable object which alone he pretended 
to, and pursued through a long series of acts of in- 
justice, inhumanity, oppression, violence, and blood- 
shed, at the hazard of his person and reputation, and, 
in his own opinion, at the risk of the total subversion 
of the British empii 

XXn. That the said "Warren Hastings, after the 




commission of the offences aforesaid, being well aware 
that he should be called to an account for the same, 
did, by the evil counsel and agency of Sir Elijah Im» 
pey. Knight, his Majesty's chief-justice, who was then 
out of the limits of liis jurisdiction, cause to be taken 
at Benares, before or by the said Sir Elijah Impey, 
and through the intervention, not of the Company's 
interpreter, but of a certain private interpreter of 
his, the said Hastings's, own appointment, and a de- 
pendant on him, called Major Davy, several declara- 
tions and depositions by natives of Hindostan, — and 
did also cause to be taken before the said Sir Elijah 
Impey several attestations in English, made by Brit- 
ish subjects, and which were afterwards transmitted 
to Calcutta, and laid before the Council-General, — 
some of which depositions were upon oath, some 
upon honor, and others neither upon oath nor honor, 
but all or most of which were of an irregular and ir- 
relevant nature, and not fit or decent to be taken by 
a British magistrate, or to be transmitted to a British 

XXIII. That one of the said attestations (but not 
on oath) was made by a principal minister of the 
Nabob of Oude, to whom the said Hastings had some 
time before proposed to sell the sovereignty of that 
very territory of Benares ; and that one other attesta- 
tion (not upon oath) was made by a native woman of 
distinction, whose son he, the said Hastings, did actu- 
ally promote to the government of Benares, vacated 
by the unjust expulsion of the Rajah aforesaid, and 
wlio in her deposition did declare that slie considered 
the expelled Rajah as her enemy, and that he never 
did confer with her, or suffer her to be acquainted 
with any of his designs. 







i { 


J t. 



XXIV. That, besides the depositions of persons in- 
terested in the ruin of the Rajah, otliers were made 
by persons who tlien received pensions from him, the 
said Hastings; and several of the affidavits were 
made by persons of mean condition, and so wholly 
illiterate as not to bo able to write their names. 

XXV. That he, the said Hastings, did also cause 
to be examined by various proofs and essays, the re- 
sult of which was delivered in upon honor, the qual- 
ity of certain military stores taken by the British 
troops from the said Rajah of Benares ; and upon the 
report that the same were of a good quality, and exe- 
cuted by persons conversant in the making of good 
military stores, although the cannon was stated by the 
same authority to be bad, he, the said Warren Hast- 
ings, from the report aforesaid, did maliciously, and 
contrary to the principles of natural and legal reason, 
infer that the insurrection which had been raised by 
his own violence and oppression, and rendered for a 
time successful by his own improvidence, was the 
consequence of a premeditated design to overturn the 
British empire in India, and to exterminate there- 
from the British nation ; which design, if it had been 
true, the said Hastings might have known, or ration- 
ally conjectured, and ought to have provided against. 
And if the said Hastings had received any credible 
information of such design, it was his duty to lay the 
same before the Council Board, and to state the same 
to the Rajah, when he was in a condition to have 
given an answer thereto or to observe thereon, and 
not, after he had proscribed and driven him from his 
dominions, to have inquired into offences to justify 
the previous infliction of punishment. 



XXVI. That it does not app ar, that, in taking 
the said depoMtions, there was any person present on 
the part of the Rajah to ol.joct to the competence or 
credibility or relevancy of any of the said affidavits 
or other attestations, or to account, otherwise than as 
the said deponents did account, for any of the facts 
therein stated ; nor were any copies thereof sent to 
the said Rajah, although the Company had a min- 
ister at the place of his residence, namely, in the 
camp of the ilahratta chief Sindia, so as to enable 
him to transmit to the Company any matters which 
might induce or enable them to do justice to the in- 
jured prince aforesaid. And it does not appear that 
the said Hastings has ever produced any witness, let- 
ter, or other document, tending to prove that the 
said Rajah ever did carry on any hostile negotiation 
whatever with any of those powers with whom he wi^s 
charged with a conspiracy against the Company, pre- 
vious to the period of the said Hastings's having 
arrested him in his palace, although he, the said 
Hastings, had various agents at the courts of all 
those princes, — and that a late principal agent and 
near relation of a minister of one them, the Rajah 
of Borar, called Bcnaram Pundit, was, at the time of 
the tumult at Benares, actually with the said Hast- 
ings, and the said Bcnaram Pundit was by him 
highly applauded for his zeal and fidelity, and was 
therefore by him rewarded with a large pension on 
those very revenues which he had taken from the 
Rajah Clieyt Sing, and if such a conspiracy had pre- 
viously existed, the Mahratta minister aforesaid must 
have known, and would have a^.^sted it. 

XXVII. That it appears that the said Warren 


■'« a 

. •>* 



'I ;'^ 

i 1 




'fy ) 

Hastings, at tho time that he formed his desigu of 
seizing upon the treasures of tho Rajah of Benares, 
and of deposing him, did not believe him guilty of 
that premeditated project for driving the English out 
of India with which he afterwards thought fit to 
chfvsjjp him, or that he was really guilty of any other 
great offence : because he has caused it to be de- 
posed, tliat, if the said TJajah should pay the sum of 
money by him exa* a, "he would settle his zemin- 
dary upon him on the most eligible footing " ; where- 
as, if ho had conceived him to have entertained 
traitorous designs against the Company, from whom 
he held his tributary estate, or had been otherwise 
guilty of such enormous offences as to make it neces- 
sary to take extraordinary methods for coercing him, 
it would not have been proper for him to se^le upon 
such a traitor and criminal ti.o zemindary of Benares, 
or any otiier territory, upon the most eligible, or 
upon any other footing whatever: whereby the said 
Hastings has by his own stating demonstrated that 
the money intended to have been exacted was not as 
a punishment fur crimes, but that the crimes were 
pretended for the purpose of exacting money. 

XXVIII. That the said "Warren Hastings, in or- 
der to justify the acts of violence aforesaid to the 
Court of Directors, did assert certain false facts, 
known by him to be such, and did draw from them 
certain false and dangerous inferences, utterly sub- 
versive ui the rights of the princes and subjects de- 
pendent on the British nation in India, contrary to 
the principles of all just gov(3rnraent, and highly dis- 
honorable to that of Great Britain : namely, that the 
"Rajuh of Btuares was not a vassal or tributary 



'1 . 



prince, and that the deeds which passed between liim 
and the board, upon the ransfer of tlie zemiudary in 
1775, were not ' be understood to bear the quality 
and force of a treaty upon optional conditions be- 
tween equal states ; that the payments to be made by 
him were not a tribute, but a rent ; and that the in- 
struments by which his territories were conveyed to 
him did not differ from common grants to zemindars 
who were merely subjects; but that, being nothing 
more than a common zemindar and mere subject, and 
the Company holding the acknowledged rights of his 
former sovereign, held n absolute authority over him ; 
that, in the known relations of zemindar to the sov- 
ereign authority, or power delegated by it, he owed a 
personal allegiance and an implicit and unreserved obe- 
dience to that authority, at the forfeiture of ais zem- 
indury, and even of his life and property." Where- 
as the said Hastings did well know, that, whether th«. 
payments from the Rajah were called rent or tribute, 
having been frequently by himself called the one and 
the otlier, and that of whatever nature the instru- 
ments by which he held might have been, he did not 
consider him as a common zemindar or landholder, 
but as far independent as a tributary prince could 
be: for he did assign as a reason for receiving his 
rent rather within the Company's province than in 
his own capital, that it would not trate the in- 

tention of rendering the Rajah in. ?ht ; tliat, if 

a Resident was appointed to receive tuvj money as it 
became due at Benares, such a Resident would una- 
voidably acquire an influence over the Rajali, and 
over his country, which would in effect render him 
the master of both ; that this consequence might not, 
perhaps, be brought completely to pass without a 



l-'i ;l 






< 'I 


-,-ah^. -rmi — MfcijgTi- 

t ■. 


I ] 

p r 

Mi ' I 


'I • 


! i 



struggle, and many appeals to the Council, which, 
in a government constituted like this, cannot fail to 
terminate against the Rajah, and, by the conetruo- 
tion to which his opposition to the agent would be 
liable, might eventually drav on him severe restric- 
tions, and end in reducing him to the mean and de- 
praved state of a zemindar.** 

XXIX. And the said Hastings, in the said Minute 
of Consultation, having enumerated the frauds, em- 
bezzlements, and oppressions which would ensue from 
the Rajah's being in the dependent state aforesaid, 
and having obviated all apprehensions from giving 
to him the implied symbols of dominion, did assert, 
"that, without sach appearance, he would expect 
from every change of government additional demands 
to be made upon him, and would of course descend 
to all the arts of i igue and concealment practised 
by other dependent Rajahs, which would keep him in- 
digent and weak, and eventually prove hurtful to the 
Company; but that, by proper encouragement and 
protection, he might prove a profitable dependant, an 
useful barrier, and even a powerful ally to the Com- 
pany ; but that he would be neither, if the conditions 
of his connection with the Company were left open to 
future variations." 

XXX. That, if the fact had been true that the 
Rajah of Benares was merely an eminent landholder 
or any other suVgect, the wicked and dangerous doc- 
trine aforesaid, namely, that he owed a personal alle- 
giance and an implicit and unreserved obedience to 
the sovereign authority, at the forfeiture of his zem- 
indary, and even of his life and property, at the dis- 





cretioii of those who held or fully represented the sov- 
ereign authority, doth leave security neither for lifo 
nor property to pay persons residing under the Com- 
pany's protection ; and that no such powers, nor any 
powers of that nature, had been delegated to the said 
"Warren Hastings by any provisions of the act of Par- 
liament appointing a Governor-General and Council 
at Fort William in Bengal. 

XXXI. That the said Warren Hastings did also 
advance another dangerous and pernicious principle 
in ju.stification of his violent, arbitrary, and iniquitous 
actings aforesaid : namely, " that, if he had acted with 
an unwarrantable rigor, and even injustice, towards 
Cheyt Sing, yet, first, if he did believe that extraordi- 
nary means were necessary, and those exerted with a 
strong hand, to preserve the Company's interests from 
sinking under the accumulated weight that oppressed 
them, or, secondly, if he saw a political necessity for 
curbing the overgrown power of a great member of 
their dominion, and to make it contribute to the re- 
lief of their pressing exigencies, that his error would 
be excusable, as prompted by an excess of zeal for 
their [the Company's] interest, operating with too 
strong a bias on his judgment ; but that much stron- 
ger is the presumption that such acts arc founded on 
just principles than that they are the result of a mis- 
guided judgment." That the said doctrines are, in 
both the members thereof, subversive of all the prin- 
ciples of just government, by empowering a governor 
with delegated authority, in the first case, on his own 
private belief concerning the necessities of the state, 
not to levy an impartial and equal rate of taxation 
suitable to the circumstances of the several members 







y A. 

\ V; 








of the community, but to select any individual from 
the same as an object of arbitrary and unmeasured 
imposition, — and, in the second case, enabling the 
same governor, on the same arbitrary principles, to 
determine whose property should bo considered as 
overgrown, and to reduce the same at his pleasure. 



That the said Warren Hastings, after he had, in 
the manner aforesaid, unjustly and violently expelled 
the Rajah Clieyt Sing, the lord or zemindar of Be- 
nares, from his said lordship or zemindary, did, of 
his own mere usurped authority, and without any 
communication with the other members of the Coun- 
cil of Calcutta, appoint another person, of the name 
of Mehip Narrain, a descendant by tlie mother from 
the late Rajah, Bulwant Sing, to the government of 
Benares ; and on account or pretence of his youth 
and inexperience (the said Mehip Narrain not being 
above twenty years old) did appoint his father, Dur- 
bege Sing, to ac'^ as his representative or administra- 
tor of liis affairs ; but did give a controlling authority 
to the British Resident over boiii, notwithstanding his 
declarations befoi-e mentioned of the mischiefs likely 
to happen to the said country from the establishment 
of a Resident, and his opinion since declared in a 
letter to the Court of Directors, dated from this very 
place (Bonaies) the 1st of October, 1784, to the sami 
or strougei' elfect, in case " agents are sent into the 
country, and armed with autliority for the purposes 
of vengeance and corrupti >n, — for to no other will 
they he applied." 



That the said Warren Hastings did, by the same 
usurped authority, entirely set aside all the agree- 
mentV made between the late Rajah and the Com- 
nany (which were real agreements with the state of 
Benares, in the person of the lord or pnnce thereof, 
and his heirs) ; and without any form of trial, inqui- 
sition, or other legal process, for forfeiture of the 
privileges of the people to be gove- ed by magis- 
trates of their own, and according to their natural 
laws, customs, and usages, did, contrary to the said 
agreement, separate the mint and the jus- 
tice from the said government, anu did vest the 
mint in the British Resident, and the criminal justice 
iu a Mahomedan native of his own appointment; and 
did enhance the tribute to be paid from the province, 
from two hundred and fifty thousand pounds annu- 
ally, limited by treaty, or thereabouts, to three hun- 
dred and thirty thousand pounds for the first year, and 
to four hundred thousand for every year after; and 
did compel the administrator aforesaid (father to the 
Raiah) to agree to the same; and did, by the same 
usurped authority, illegally impose, and cause to be 
levied, sundry injudicious and oppressive duties on 
goods and merchandise, which did greatly impair the 
trade of the province, and threaten the utter rum 
thereof; and did charge several pensions on the said 
revenues, of his own mere authority; and did send 
and keep up various bodies of the Company s troops 
in the said country; and did perform sundry other 
acts with regard to the said territory, in total subver- 
sion of the rights of the sovereign and the people, 
and in violation of the treaties and agreements afore- 

%hat the said Warren Hastings, being absent, on 



, ; 








u .. 


account of ill liea'th, from the Presidency of Calcutta, 
at a place called Nia Serai, al)out forty miles distant 
therefrom, did carry on a secret correspondence with 
the Resident at Benares, and, under color that the in- 
stalments for the new rent or tribute were in arrear, 
did of his own authority make, in about one year, a 
second revolution in the government of the territory 
aforesaid, and did order and direct that Durbegc 
Sing aforesaid, father of the Rajah, and administra- 
tor of his autliority, should be deprived of his office 
and of his lands, and thrown into prison, and did 
threaten him with death : altliough he, the said War- 
ren Hastings, had, at the time of the making his new 
arrangement, declared himself sensible that the rent 
aforesaid might require abatement ; although he was 
well apprised that the administrator had been for 
two months of his administration in a weak and lan- 
guid state of body, and wlioUy incapable of attending 
to the business of the collections ; though a consider- 
able drought had prevailed in the said province, and 
did consequently affect tlie regularity and produce of 
tlie collections ; and though he had other sufficient 
reason to believe that the said administrator had not 
himself received from the collectors of government 
and the cultivators of the soil tlie rent in arrear : yet 
he, tlie said Warren Hastings, without any known 
process, or recording any answer, defence, plea, ex- 
culpation, or apology from the party, or recording 
any other grounds of rigor against him, except the 
following paragraph of a letter from the Residenc, 
not only gave the order as aforesaid, but did after- 
wards, witliout laying any other or better ground 
before the Council-General, persuade them to, and 
did procure from them, a confirmation of the afore- 



said cruel and il'.gal proceedings, M.o corrcspondoncj 
concerning which had not been before communicated : 
he pleading his illness for not commuuicnNng the 
same, though that illness did not prevent him from 
carrying on correspondence concerning the deposition 
of the said administrator, and other important aflhiru 
in various places. _ _ 

That in the letter to the Council requiring the 
confirmation of his acts aforesaid the said Warren 
Hastings did not only propose the confinement of the 
said administrator at Benares, although by his im- 
prisonment ho must have been in a g-eat measure 
disabled from recovering the balances duo to him, 
and for the non-payment of which ho was thus im- 
prisoned, but did propose, as an alternative, his im- 
prisonment at a remote fortress, out of the said terri- 
tory, and in tho Company's provinces, called Chunar: 
desiring them to direct the Resident at Benares "to 
exact from Baboo Durbego Sing every rupee of the 
collections which it shall appear that he has made 
and not brought to account, and either to confine 
him at Benares, or to send him a prisoner to Chunar, 
and to keep him in confinement until he shall have 
dischar-^ed the whole of the amount due from him." 
And the said Warren Hastings did assign motives of 
passion and personal resentment for the said unjust 
and rigorous proceedings, as follows : " I feel myself, 
and may be allowed on such an occasion to acknowl- 
edge it, personally hurt at the ! igratitu-l-^ of this man, 
and at the discredit which his ill cond .t lias thrown 
on my appointment of him. He has deceived me ; he 
has ofTouded against the government which I then 
represented." And as a further reason for depriv- 
ing him of his jaghiro, (or salary out of land,) he did 

«» .< 











S \ I 

insinuate in the said letter, but without giving or 
offering any proof, " tliat the said Rajah had l)een 
guilty of little and mean peculations, altliough the 
appointments assigned to him liad l)oon sufficient to 
free him from the temptations thereto." 

That it appears, as it mi^ht naturally have been 
expected, tliat the wife of the said administrator, the 
daughter of Bulwant Sing, the late Rajah of Benares, 
and her son, the reigning Rajah, did oppose to the 
best of their power, but by what remonstrances or 
upon what plea the said Warren Hastings did never 
inform the Court of Dirctors, the deposition, impris- 
onment, and confiscation of the estates of the husl)and 
of the one and the fatiier of the other ; but that the 
said Hastings, persisting in his malice, did declare to 
the said Council as follo^"^ '"'"i opposition made 
by the Rajah and the olu >th equally inca- 

pable of judging for thmiKel ^rtainly origi- 

nate from some secret influence, ought to be 

checked by a decided and peremptory declaration of 
the authc.ity of the board, and a denunciation of their 
displeasure at their presumption." 

That the said Warren Hastings, not satisfied with 
the injuries done and the insults and disgraces of- 
fered to the family aforesaid, did, in a maimer unpar- 
alleled, except by an act of his own on another occa- 
sion, fraudulently and inhumanly endeavor to make 
the wife and son of the said administrator, contrary 
to the sentiments and the law of Nature, the instru- 
ments of his oppressions : directing, " that, if they " 
(the mother and son aforesaid) " could be indticed to 
yield the appearance of a cheerful acquiescence in the 
new arrangement, and to adopt it as a measure formed 
with their participation, it would be better than that it 

1' ' 



should bo done by a declared act of compulsion ; but 
that at all oventH it oiight to bo done." 

That, in conscqueuco of the pressing declarations 
aforesaid, the said Warren Hastings did on his special 
recoraraendution apjMjint, in opposition to tlie wishes 
and desires of the Rajah and his mother, another per- 
son to the administration of his affairs, calkd Jagher 

Deo Seo. 

That, the Company having sent express orders for 
♦'. pcti(lin>r the Resident by them before appointed 
to Benares, tlio said Warren Hastinps did strongly 
oppose himself to tlie same, and did tlirow upon the 
person appointed by the Company (Francis Fowke, 
Esquire) several strong, but unspecified, reflections 
and aspersions, contrary to the duty he owed to the 
Company, and to the justice ho owed to all its ser- 

Tliat the said Resident, being appointed by the 
votes of the rest of the Council, in ol>n(lience to the 
reiterated orders of the Company, and ju despite of 
the opposition of the said Hastings, did proceed to Be- 
nares, and, on the representation of the parties, atid 
the submission of tlie accounts of the aforesaid Ditr- 
bego Sing to an arbitrator, did find him, the said 
Durbcgo Ping, in debt to the Company for a sum 
not considerable enough to justify the severe tront- 
mcnt of the said Durbege Sing: his wife and son 
complaining, at or about the same time, that the l)al- 
ances due to him from the aumils, or sub-collectors, 
had been received by the new administrator, and 
carried to his own credit, in prejudice and wrong to 
the said Purbege Sing; which representation, the 
only one that has been transmitted on the part of the 
said sulTerers, has not been contradicted. 












That it appears thau the said Durbcge Sing did 
afterwards go to Calcutta for the redress of his griev- 
ances, and that it does not appear that the same were 
redressed, or even his complaints heard, but he re- 
ceived two peremptory orders from the Supreme 
Council to leave the said city and to return to Be- 
nares ; that, on his return to Benares, and being there 
met by Warren Hastings aforesaid, he, tlie said War- 
ren Hastings, although he had reason to be well as- 
sured that the said Durbcge Sing was in possession 
of small or no substance, did again cruelly and in- 
humanly, and without any legal authority, order the 
said Durbegc Sing to be strictly imprisoned ; and 
the said Durbege Sing, in consequence of the vexa- 
tions, hardships, and oppressions aforesaid, died in a 
short time after, insolvent, but whether in prison or 
not does not appear. 




That the said Warren Hastings, having, in the 
manner before recited, divested Durbegc Sing of the 
administration of the province of Benares, did, of his 
own arbitrary will and pleasure, and against the re- 
monstrances of the Rajah and his mother, (in whose 
name and in whose right the said Durbcge Sing, 
father of the one, and husband of the other, had ad- 
ministered the aiTairs of the government,) appoint 
a person called Jagher Deo Seo to administer the 

That the new administrator, warned by the severe 
example made of his predecessor, is represented by 
the said Warren Hastings as having made it his 





" avowed principle " (as it might be expected it should 
be) " that the sum fixed for the revenue must bo col- 
lected." And lie did, upon the principle aforesaid, 
and by the means suggested l)y a principle of that 
sort, accordingly levy from the country, and did reg- 
ularly discliargo to the British Resident at Benares, 
by monthly payments, the sums imposed by the said 
Warren Hastings, as it is assorted by the Resident, 
Fowke ; but the said Warren Hastings did assort that 
his annual collections did not amount to more than 
Lac 37,37,600, or thereabouts, which ho says is much 
short of the revenues of the province, and is by about 
twenty-four thousand pounds short of his agreement. 

That it further appears, that, notwithstanding 
the new administrator aforesaid was appointed two 
months, or thereabouts, after the beginning of the 
Fusseli year, that is to say, about the middle of No- 
vember, 1782, and the former administrator had col- 
lected a certain portion of the revenues of that year, 
amotuiting to 17,000Z. and upwards, yet he, the said 
new administrator, upon the unjust and destructive 
principle aforesaid, suggested by the cruel and violent 
proceedings of the said Warren Hastings towards his 
predecessor, did levy on the province, within the said 
year, the whole amount of the revenues to bo collect- 
ed, in addition to the sum collected by his predeces- 
sor aforesaid. 

That, on account of a great drought which pre- 
vailed in the province aforesaid, a remission of cer- 
tain duties in grain was proposed by the cliicf crim- 
inal judge at Benares ; but the administrator afore- 
said, being fearful that the revenue should fall short 
in his hands, did strenuously oppose himself to the 
necessary relief to the inhabitants of tho said city. 



' m 





i i: 

i( Vii 




i I' 


That, notwithstanding the cantonment of several 
bodies of the Company's troops within the province, 
Bince the abolition of the native government, it be- 
came subject in a particular manner to the depreda- 
tions of the Rajahs upon the borders ; insomuch that 
in one quarter no fewer than thirty villages had been 
sacked and burned, and the inhabitants reduced to 
the most extreme distress. 

That the Resident, in his letter to tic board at 
Calcutta, did represent that the coUectic J the rev- 
enue was become very difficult, and, besides the ex- 
treme drought, did assign for a cause of that diffi- 
culty the following. " That there is also one fund 
which in former years was often applied in this coun- 
try to remedy temporary inconveniences in the reve- 
nue, and which in the present year does not exist. 
This was the private fortunes of merchants and shroffs 
[bankers] resident in Benares, from whom aumila 
[collectors] of credit could obtain temporary loans 
to satisfy the immediate calls of the Rajah. These 
sums, which used to circulate between the aumil and 
the merchant, have been turned into a different chan- 
nel, by biPs of exchange to defray the expenses of 
government, both on the west coast of India, and 
also at Madras." To which representation it does 
not appear that any answer was given, or that any 
mode of redress was adopted in consequence thereof. 

That the said Warren Hastings, having passed 
through the province of Benares (Gazipore) in his 
progress towards Oude, did, in a letter dated from the 
city of Lucknow, the 2d of April, 1784, give to the 
Council Board at Calcutta an account, highly dis- 
honorable to the British government, of the eflFect of 
the arrangements by himself in the years 1781 



and 1782, in the words following. "Having con- 
trived, by making forced stages, while the troops of 
my escort marched at the ordinary rate, to make a 
stay of five days at Benares, I was thereby ftirnished 
with the means of acquiring some knowledge of the 
state of the province, which I am anxious to commu- 
nicate to you. Indeed, the inquiry, which was in a 
great degree obtruded upon me, affected me with very 
mortifying reflections on my inability to apply it to 
any useful purpose. From the confines of Buxar to 
Benares I was followed and fatigued by tl nors 

of the discontented inhabitants. It was v. x- 

pected in a degree, because it is rare that the _.icise 
of authority should prove satisfactory to all who are 
the objects of it. The distresses which were pro- 
duced by the long-continued drought unavoidably 
tended to heighten the general discontent ; yet I have 
reason to fear that the cause existed principally in a 
defective, if not a corrupt and oppressive administra' 
tion. Of a multitude of petitions which were pre- 
sented to me, and of which I took minutes, every one 
that did not relate to a personal grievance contained 
the representation of one and the same species of op- 
pression, which is in its nature of an influence most 
fatal to the future cultivation. The practice to which 
I allude is this. It is affirmed that the aumils and 
renters exact from the proprietors of the actual har- 
vest a large increase in kind on their stipulated rent : 
that is, from those who hold their pottaJi by the tenure 
of paying one half of the produce of their crops, eitl 
the whole without subterfuge, or a large proportion of 
it by a false measurement or other pretexts ; and from 
those whose engagements are for a fixed rent in mon- 
ey, the half, or a greater proportion, is taken in kind. 


,1. : k ."' 


it; I 



1^^ ' 



This is in effect a tax upon tlie industry of the inhab- 
itants : since tliere is scarce a field of grain in the 
province, I anight say nut one, wliich has not heen 
preserved by the incessant labor of the cultivator, 
by digging wells for their supply, or watering them 
from the wells of nir sonry with which their country 
abounds, or from the neighboring tanks, rivers, and 
nullahs. The peopi'" ./ho imposed on themselves this 
voluntary and extraordinary labor, and not unattend- 
ed with expense, did it on tho expectation of reaping 
the profits of it ; .nd it is certain they would not have 
done it, if they had known that their rulers, from 
tvhoin they were entitled to an indemnification, would 
take from them what they had so lurdly earned. 
If the same administration continues, and the coun- 
try shall again la'- or under a want of rain, every field 
will he abandoned, the revenue fail, and thousands per- 
ish through wani of subsistence : for who will labor 
for the sole benefit of others, and to make himself the 
subject of exaction ? These practices are to be im- 
puted to the Naib himself" (tlie administrator forced 
by tho said Warren Hastings on the prese»it itajah 
of Benares). "The avowed principle on which he 
acts, and which he acknowledged to myself, is, that 
the whole sum fixed for the revenne of the province 
must be collected, — and that, for this purpose, the 
deficiency arising in places where the crops have 
failed, or which have been left uncultivated, must 
be supplied from the resources of others, where the 
soil has been better suited to the season, cr the in- 
dustry of the cultivators hath been more successfully 
exerted : a principle which, however specious and 
plausible it may at first appear, certainly tends to 
tJie most pernicious a7id destructive consequences. If 



this declaration of the Naib had been made only to 
myself, I might have doubted my construction of it ; 
but it was repeated by him to Mr. Anderson, who un- 
derstood it exactly in the same sense. In the mar- 
agemcnt of the customs, the conduct of the Naib, or 
of the officer under him, was forced also upon my 
attention. The exorbitant rates exacted hy an arbitrary 
valuation of the goods, the practice of exacting duties 
twice, on the same goods, (first from the seller, and 
afterwards from the buyer,) and the vexations, dis- 
putes, and delays drawn on the merchants hj these 
oppressions, were loudly complained of; and some in- 
stances of this kind were said to exist at the very 
time I was at Benares. Under such circumstances, 
we are not to wonder, if the merchants of foreign 
countries are discouraged from resorting to Benares, 
and if the commerce of that province should annually 
decay. Other evils, or imputed evils, have accidental- 
ly come to my knowledge, which I will not now par- 
ticularize, as I hope, that, with the assistance of the 
Resident, they may be in part corrected. One evil I 
must mention, because it has been verified by my 
own observation, and is of that kind which reflects 
an unmerited reproach on our general and national 
character. Whoa I was at Bu-iar, the Resident, at 
my desire, enioined the Naib to appoint creditable 
people to every town through wliich our route lay, to and encourage the inhabitants to remain in 
their houses, promising to give them guards as I ap- 
proached, and they required it for their i protection ; 
and that he might perceive how earnest I for his 
observation of this precaution, I repeated it to him in 
person, and dismissed him that he might precede me 
for that purpose. But, to my great disappointment, 


1 1 

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i 8. 





i i I ■ 

I found every place through which I passed abandoned: 
nor had there been a man left in any of them for their 
protection. I am sorry to add, that, from Buxar to the 
opposite boundary, I have seen nothing but traces of 
complete devastation in every village : whether caused 
by the followers of the troops which have lately paused, 
for their natural relief, (and I know not whether my 
own may not have had their share,} or from the appre- 
hensions of the inhabitants left to themselves, and of 
themselves deserting their houses. I wish to acquit 
my own countrymen of the blame of these unfavor- 
able appearances, and in my own heart I uo acquit 
them ; for at one encampment a crowd of people came 
to me complaining that their new aumil (collector^, on 
the approach of any military df.tachment, himself first 
fled from the place ; and the inhabitants, having no one 
to whom they could apply for redress, or for the repre- 
sentation of their grievances, and being thus remediless, 
fled aUo ; so that their houses and effects became a prey 
to any person who chose to plunder them. The general 
conclusion appeared to me an inevitable consequence 
from such a state of facts ; and my own senses bore 
testimony to it in this specific instance: nor do I 
know how it is possible for any officer commanding a 
military party, how attentive soever ho may be to the 
discipline and forbearance of his people, to prevent 
disorders, when there is neither opposition to hinder nor 
evidence to detect them. These and many other irreg- 
ularities I impute solely to the Naib, and recommend 
his instant removal. I cannot help remarking, that, 
except the city of Benares, the province is in effect 
without a government. The administration of the prov- 
ince is misconducted, and the people oppressed, trade 
discouraged, and the revenue in danger of a rapid de- 
cline, from the violent appropriation of its means." 



That the said Warren Hastings did recommend txi 
the Council, for a remedy of the disorders and calam- 
ities which had arisen from his own acts, dispositions, 
and appointments, that the administrator aforesaid 
should be instantly removed from his office, — attrib- 
uting the aforesaid " irregularities, and many others, 
solely to him," although, on his own representation, it 
does appear that he was the sole causo of the irregu- 
larities therein described. Neither docs it appear that 
the administrator, so by the said Hastings nominated 
and removed, was properly charged and called to an- 
swer for the said recited irregularities, or for the 
many others not recited, but attributed solely to him ; 
nor has any plea or excuse from him been transmit- 
ted to the board, or to the Court of Directors ; but he 
was, at the instance of the said Hastings, deprived of 
his said office, contrary to the principles of natural 
justice, in a violent and arbitrary manner ; which 
proceeding, combined with the example made of his 
predecessor, must necessarily leave to the person who 
should succeed to the said office no distinct princi- 
ple upon which he might act with safety. But in 
comparing the consequences of the two delinquencies 
charged, the failure of the payment of the revenues 
(from whatever cause it may arise) is more likely to 
be avoided than any severe course towards the inhab- 
itants : as the former fault was, besides the depriva- 
tion of office, attended with two imprisonments, with 
a menace of death, and an actual death, in disgrace, 
poverty, and insolvency ; whereas the latter, namely, 
the oppression, and thereby the total ruin, of the 
country, charged on the second administrator, was 
only followed by loss of office, — although he, the 
said Warren Hastings, did further assert (but with 




i ' : 


I' i 



h ^ 



what truth does not appear) that the collection of the 
last administrator had fallen much short of the rev- 
enue of the province. 

Tliat tlie said Warren Hastings himself was sen- 
sible that the frequent changes by him made would 
much disorder the management of the revenues, and 
seemed desirous of concealing his intentions concern- 
ing the last change until the time of its execution. 
Yet it appears, by a letter from the British Resident, 
dated the '2M of June, 1784, " that a very strong re- 
port [(levailod at Benares of his [the said Hastings's] 
intentions of appointing a new Naib for the approach- 
ing year, and that thn olTect is evident wliich the 
prevalence of such an idea amongst the aurails would 
probably have on the cultivation at this particular 
time. The heavy mofussil kists [harvest instalments] 
have now been collected by the aumils ; the season 
of tillage is arrived ; the ryots [country farmers] must 
be indulged, and even assisted by advances ; and the 
aumil must look for his returns in the abundance of 
the crop, the consequence of this early attention to the 
cultivation. The effect is evident tvhich the report of a 
change in the first officer of the revetiue must have on the 
minds of the aumils, by leaving them at an uncertainty 
of what they have in future to expect ; and in proportion 
to the degree of this uncertainty, their efforts and 
expenses in promoting the cultivation will be lan- 
guid and sparing. In compliance with the Naib's re- 
quest, I liave written to all the aumils, encouraging 
and ordering them to attend to the cultivation of their 
respective districts; but I conceive I sb "ild be able 
to promote this very desirable intentiO-. much more 
effectually, if you will honor me with the commu- 
nication of your intentions on this subject. At the 



same time I cannot help just remarking, that, if a 
change is intended, the sooner it takes place, the more 
the bad effects I have described will be obviated." 

That the Coi ncil, having received the proposition 
for the removal of the administrator aforesaid, did 
also, in a letter to him, the said Hastings, condemn 
the frequent changes by him made in the administra- 
tion of the collections of Benares, — but did consent to 
such alterations as might be made without encroach- 
ing on the rights establislicd by his, the said Hast- 
ings's, agreement in the year 1781, and did desire him 
to°transrait to them his plan for a new administration. 
That the said H-.stings did transmit a plan, which, 
notwithstanding the evils which had happened from 
the former frequent changes, he did propose as <> tern- 
porari/ expedient for the administration of the reve- 
nues of the said province, — in which no provision 
was made for the reduction or remission of revenue 
as exigences might require, or for the extraction of 
the circulating specie from the said province, or for 
the supply of the necessary advances for cultivation, 
nor for the removal or prevention of any :f the griev- 
ances by him before complained of, other than an 
inspection by the Resident and the chief criminal 
magistrate of Benares, and other regulations equally 
void of effect and authority, — and which plan Mr. 
Stables, one of the Supremo Council, did altogether 
reject ; but the same was approved of as a temporary 
expedient, with some exceptions, by two other mem- 
bers of the board, Mr. Wheler and Mr. Macpherson, 
declaring the said Warren Eadiwjs responsible for 
the temporary expediency of the same. 

That the said Warren Hastings, in the plan afore- 
said, having strongly objected to the appointment of 






I * 

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r'T I 



any European collectors, that is to say, of any Euro- 
pean servants of the Comi)any being concerned in the 
same, declaring that there had l)een sufficient experi- 
ence of the ill effects of their being ho employed in 
the province of Bengal, — by wliich the said Hastings 
did either in loose and general terras convoy a false 
imputation upon the conduct of the C -zany's ser- 
vants employed in tlie collection of tli. jveuuos of 
Bengal, or ho was guilty of a criminal neglect of duty 
in not bringing to punishment the particular persons 
whose evil practices had given rise to such a general 
imputation on British subjects and servants of the 
Company as to render them unfit for service in other 

That the said Warren Hastings, having in the 
course of throe years made three complete revolutions 
in the state of Benares, by expelling, in the fust in- 
stance, the lawful and rightful governor of the same, 
under whose care and superintendence a large and 
certain revenue, suitable to the abilities of the coun- 
try, and consistent with its prosperity, was paid with 
the greatest punctuality, and by afterwards displacing 
two effective governors or administrators of the prov- 
ince, anpointed in succession by himself, and, in con- 
sequence of the said appointments and violent and 
arbitrary removals, the said province " being left in 
effect without a government," except in one city only, 
and having, after all, settled no more than a tempora- 
ry arrangement, is guilty of an high crime and misde- 
meanor in the destruction of the country aforesaid. 




I. That the reigning Nabob of Oude, commonly 
called Asoph ul Powlah, (son and successor to Sujah 
ul Dowlah,) by taking into or continuing in his pay 
certain bodies of regular British troops, and by having 
afterwards admitted the British Resident at his court 
into the management of all his affairs, foreign and do- 
mestic, and particularly into the administration of his 
finances, did gradually become in substance and effect, 
as well as in general repute and estimation, a depend- 
ant on, or vassal of, the East India Company, and was, 
and is, 80 much under the control of the Governor 
General and Council of Bengal, that, in the opnnon 
of all the native powers, the English name and char- 
acter is concerned in every act of his government. 

II. That Warren Hastings, Esquire, contrary to 
law and to his duty, and in disobedience to the orders 
of the East India Company, arrogating to himself the 
nomi.iation of the Resident at tlie court of Oude, as 
his particular agent and representative, and reject' g 
the Resident appointed by the Company, and obtrud- 
ing upon them a person of his own choice, did from 
that time render himself in a particular manner re- 
sponsible for the good government of the provmces 
composing the dominions of the Nabob of Oude. 

III. That the provinces aforesaid, having been at 
the time of their first connection with the Company iti 
an improved and flourishing condition, and yielding a 
revenue of more than three millions of pounds ster- 
ling, or thereabouts, did soon after that period begin 
sensibly to decUne, and the subsidy of the British 

I' I* 







troops stationed in that province, as well as other 
sums of money duo to tho Company by treaty, ran 
considerably in arroar; although the prince of tho 
country, during the time these arrears accrued, was 
otherwise in distress, and had been obliged to reduce 
all his establishments. 

IV. That the prince aforesaid, or Nabob of Oudc, 
did, in Immblo and submissive terms, supplicate tlit! 
said Warren Hastings to be relieved from a body of 
troops whose licentious beliavior he complained of, 
and who were stationed in his country witliout any 
obligation by treaty to maintain tliem, — pleading tho 
failure of harvest and the prevalence of famine in his 
country : a compliance with wliicli request by tlie said 
Warren Hastings was refused in unbecoming, offen- 
sive, and insulting language. 

V. That the said Nabob, laboring under tho afore- 
said and other burdens, and being continually urged 
for payment, was advised to extort, and did extort, 
from his mother and grandmother, under the pretext 
of loans, (and sometimes without that appearance,^ 
various great sums of money, amounting in the whole 
to six hundred and thirty thousand pounds sterling, or 
thereabouts : alleging in excuse the rigorous demands 
of the East India Company, for whose use the said 
extorted money had been demanded, and to which a 
considerable part of it had been applied. 

VI. That the two female parents of the Nabob 
aforesaid were among the women of the greatest 
rank, family, and distinction in Asia, and were left 
by the deceased Nabob, the sou of the one and the 



husband of ihc other, in charg. of certain considera- 
ble part of his treasures, in money and other value 
ble movables, as well as certain landed estates, called 
jaghires, in order to the support of their own di' " ", 
and the honorable maintenance of his women, auv. a 
numerous offspring, and their dependants : the said 
family amounting in the whole to two thousand per- 
sons, who were by the said Nabob, at his death, rec- 
ommended in a particular manner to the care and 
protect i(jn of the said Warren Hastings. 

VII. Tliat, on the demand of the Nabob of Oudo 
on his parents for the last of the sums wliich complet- 
ed the six hundred and tliirty thousand pounds afore- 
said, tlicy, the said parents, did positively refuse to 
pay any part of the same to their son for the use of 
the Company, until he should agree to certain terms 
to be stipulated in a regular treaty, and among other 
particulars to secure tliem in the remainder of their 
possessions, and also on no account or pretence to 
make any furtlier demands or claims on them ; and 
well Icnowing from whence all his claims and exac- 
tions had arisen, they demanded that tlic said treaty, 
or family compact, sliould be guarantied by tlie Gov- 
ornor-Gcnerul and Council of Bengal : and a treaty 
was accordingly agreed to, executed by the Nabob, 
and guarantied by John Bristow, Esquire, tlie Resi- 
dent at Oiide, under the autliority and with tlie ex- 
press consent of the said Warren Hastings and tlie 
Council-General, and in consequence tliereof the sum 
last required was paid, and discharges given to the 
Nabob for all the money which he had borrowed from 
his own mother and the mother of his father. 

That, the distresses and disorders in the Nabob's 



,,1 1 








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■^^i I" 

^v y/' ^ It ' 




^'■' hi '' 

govemmont and his debt to the Company continuing 
to increase, notwithstanding the violent methods be- 
fore mentioned taken to augment his resources, the 
said Warren Hastings, on the 21st of May, and 
on the 31st July, 1781, (he and Mr. Wheler being 
the only remaining members of the Council-General, 
and he having the conclusive and casting voice, and 
thereby being in effect the whole Council,) did, in the 
name and under the authority of the board, resolve 
on a journey to the upper provinces, in order to a per- 
sonal interview with the Nabob of Oude, towards the 
settlement of his distressed affairs, and did give to 
himself a delegation of the powers of the said Council, 
in direct violation of the Company's orders forbiddmg 
such delegation. 

VIII. That the said "Warren Hastings having by 
his appointment met the Nabob of Oude near a place 
called Chunar, and possessing an entire and absolute 
command over the said prince, he did, contrary to 
justice and equity and the security of property, as well 
as to public faith and the sanction of the Company's 
guaranty, under the color of a treaty, which treaty 
was conducted secretly, without a written document 
of any part of the proceeding except the pretended 
treaty itself, authorize the said Nabob to seize upon, 
and confiscate to his own profit, the landed estates, 
called jaghires, of his parents, kindred, and principal 
nobility : only stipulating a pension to the net amount 
of tlie rent of the said lands as an equivalent, and that 
equivalent to such only whose lands had been guar- 
antied to them by the Company ; but provided neither 
in the said pretended treaty nor in any subsequent 
act the least security for the payment of the said pen- 



sion to those for whom such pension was ostensibly 
reserved, and for the others not so much as a show of 
indemnity ; — to the extreme scandal of the British 
government, which, valuing itself upon a strict regard 
to property, did expressly authorize, if it did not com- 
mand, an attack upon that right, unprecedented in 
the despotic governments of India. 

IX. That the said Warren Hastings, in order to 
cover the violent and unjust proceedings aforesaid, 
did assert a claim of right in the same Nabob to 
all the possessions of his said mother and grand- 
mother, as belonging to him by the Mahomedau law ; 
and this pretended claim was set up by the said War- 
ren Hastings, after the Nabob had, by a regular treaty 
ratified and guarantied by the said Hastings as Gov- 
ernor-General, renounced and released all demands 
on them. And this false pretence of a legal demand 
was taken up and acted upon by the said Warren 
Hastings, without laying the said question on record 
before the Council-General, or giving notice to the 
persons to be affected thereby to support their rights 
before any of the principal magistrates and expounders 
of the Mahomedan law, or taking publicly the opin- 
ions of any person conversant therein. 

X. That, in order to give further color to the acts 
of ill faith and violence aforesaid, the said Warren 
Hastings did cause to be taken at Lucknow and other 
places, before divers persons, and particularly before 
Sir Elijah Impey, Knight, his Majesty's chief-justice, 
acting extra-judicially, and not within the limits of 
his jurisdiction, several passionate, careless, irrelevant, 
and irregular aiSdavits, consisting of matter not fit 






VOL. vni. 





,r ,] I 

^: I. 

to be deposed on oath, — of reports, conjectures, and 
hearsays ; some of the persons swearing to the said 
hearsays having declined to declare from whom they 
heard the accounts at second hand sworn to ; the said 
affidavits in general tending to support the calumnious 
charge of the said Warren Hastings, namely, that the 
aged women before mentioned had formed or erjraged 
in a plan for the deposition of their son and scvereign, 
and the utter extirpation of the English nation : and 
neither the said charge against persons whose depend- 
ence was principally, if not wholly, on the good faith 
of this nation, and highly affecting the honor, proper- 
ty, and even lives, of women of the highest condition, 
nor the affidavits intended to support the same, extra- 
judicially taken, ex paHe, and without notice, by the 
said Sir Elijah Impey and others, were at any time 
communicated to the parties charged, or to any agent 
for them ; nor were tliey called upon to answer, nor 
any explanation demanded of them. 

XI. That the article affecting private property 
secured by public acts, in the said pretended treaty, 
contains nothing more than a general permission, 
given by the said Warren Hastings, for confiscating 
such jaghires, or landed estates, with the modifications 
therein contained, " as he [the Nabob] may find ne- 
cessary," but does not directly point at, or express 
by name, any of the landed possessions of the Nabob's 
mother. But soon after the signing of the said pre- 
tended treaty, (that is, on the 29th November, 1781,) 
it did appear that a principal object thereof was to 
enable the Nabob to seize upon the estates of his 
female parents aforesaid, which had been guaran- 
tied to them by the East India Company. And al- 



though iu the treaty, or pretended treaty, aforesaid, 
nothing more is purported than to give a simple per- 
mission to the Nabob to seize upon and confiscate the 
estates, leaving the execution or non-execution of the 
same wholly to his discretion, yet it appears, by sev- 
eral letters from Nathaniel Middleton, Esquire, the 
Resident at the Court of Oude, of the 6th, 7th, and 
9th of December, 1781, that no such discretion as ex- 
pressed in the treaty was left, or intended to be left, 
with him, the said Nabob, but that the said article 
ought practically to have a construction of a directly 
contrary tendency : that, instead of considering the 
article as originating from the Nabob, and containing 
a power provided in his favor which he did not pos- 
sess before, the confiscation of the jaghires aforesaid 
was to be considered as . -neasure originating from 
the English, and to I .■ ided for their benefit, 
and, as such, that tl e .ation was to be forced 
upon him; and the e. •" on thereof was according- 
ly forced upon him. And the Resident, Middleton, 
on the Nabob's refusal to act in contradiction to his 
sworn engagement guarantied by the East India Com- 
pany, and in the undutiful and unnatural manner 
required, did totally supersede his authority in his 
own don-inions, considering himself as empowered 
so to act by the instructions of the said Hastings, 
although he had reason to apprehend a general in- 
surrection in consequence thereof, and that he found 
it necessary to remove his family, " which he did not 
wish to retain there, in case of a rupture with the Na- 
bob, or the necessity of employing the British forces 
in the reduction of his aumils and troops " ; and he 
did accordingly, as sovereign, issue his own edicts and 
warrants, in defiuucu of the resistance of the Nabob, 




■ '«! 


'i L 




) : 

in the manner by him described in the letters afore- 
said,— in a letter of 6th December, 1781, that is to 
say : " Finding the Nabob wavering in his determination 
about the resumption of the Jaghires,! this day, in pres- 
ence of and with the minister's concurrence, ordered 
the necessary purwannn lis to be written to the several 
aumils for that purpo-e ; and it was my firm resolu- 
tion to have dispatched them this eyeiiing, with proper 
people to see them punctually and implicitly carried 
into execution ; but before they were all transcribed, 
I received a message from the Nabob, who had been 
informed by the minister of the resolution I had take-., 
entreating that I would withhold the purwannahs un- 
til to-morrow morning, when he would attend me, 
and afford me satisfaction on this point. As the loss 
of a few hours in the dispatch of the purwannahs ap- 
peared of little moment, and as it is possible the Na- 
bob, seeing that the business will at all events be done, 
may make it an act of his own, I have consented to in- 
dulge him in his request; but, be the result of our inter- 
view tvhatever it mag, nothing shall prevent the orders 
being issued to-morrow, either by him or myself, with 
the concurrence of the ministers. Your pleasure re- 
specting the Begums I have learnt from Sir Elijah, 
and the measure heretofore proposed will soon follow 
the resumption of the jaghires. From both, or indeed 
from the former alone, I have no doubt of the com- 
plete liquidation of the Company's balance." And 
also in another letter, of the 7th December, 1781 ; " I 
had the honor to address you yesterday, informing 
you of the steps I had taken in regard to the resump- 
tion of the jaghires. This morning the Vizier came to 
me according to his agreement, but seemingly without 
any intention or desire to yield me satisfaction on the 



suhf'ect under discussion; for, after a great deal of antr 
versation, consisting on his paH of trifling evasion and 
puerile excuses for withholding his a^iStnt to the measure, 
though at the same time prof essing the most implicit sub- 
mission to your wishes, I found myself without any other 
resource than the one of employing that exclusive author- 
ity with which I consider your instructions to vest me: 
Ithertfore declared to the Nahob, in presence of the min- 
ister and Mr. Johnson, who I desired might hear witness 
of the conversation, that I construed his rejection of the 
measure proposed as a breach of his solemn promise to 
you, and an unwillingness to yield that assistance which 
was evidently in his power towards liquidating his heavy 
accumulating debt to the Company, and that I must in 
consequence determine, in my own justification, to is- 
sue immediately the purwannahs, which had only been 
withheld in the sanguine hope that he would be pre- 
vailed upon to make that his own act which nothing 
but the most urgent necessity could force me to make 
mine. He left me without any reply, but afterwards 
sent for his minister and authorized him to give me 
hopes that my requisition would be complied with ; 
on which I expressed my satisfaction, but declared 
that I could admit of no further delays, and, unless I 
received his Excellency's formal acquiescence before 
the evening, I should then most assuredly issue my 
purwannahs ; which I have accordingly done, not hav- 
ing had any assurances from his Excellency that 
could justify a further suspension. I shall, as soon as 
possible, inform you of the effect of the purwannahs, 
which, in many parts, I am apprehensive it will be 
found necessary to enforce with military aid. I am 
not, however, entirely without hopes that the Nabob, 
when he sees the inefficacy of further opposition, may 




t-i I • I 




/ * 




alter his conduct, and prevent the confusion and dis- 
agreecMe consequences which would he too likely to result 
from the prosecuivm of a measure of such importance 
without his concurrence. His Excellency talks of go- 
ing to Fyzabad, for the purpose heretofore mentioned, 
in three or four days : I wish he may he serious in his 
intention, and you may rest assured I shall spare no 
pains to keep him to it." And further, in a letter of 
the 9th December, 1781 : " I had the honor to ad- 
dress you on tho 7th instant, informing you of the 
conversation which had passed between the Nabob 
and me on the subject of resuming the jaghires, and 
the step I had taken in consequence. Eis Excellency 
appeared to he very much hurt and incensed at the meas- 
ure, and loudly complains of the treachery cf his minis- 
ters, first, in giving you any hopes that such a meas- 
ure' would he adopted, and, secondly, in their promising 
me their whole support in carrying it through; hut, as 1 
apprehended, rather than suffer it to appear that the 
point had heen carried in opposition to his will, he at 
length yielded a nominal acquiescence, and has this 
day issued his own purwannahs to that effect, — de- 
claring, however, at the same time, hoth to me and his 
ministers, that it is an act of compulsion. I hope to be 
able in a few days, in consequence of this measure, to 
transmit you an account of the actual value "♦^d prod- 
uce of the jaghires, opposed to the nominal t .ant at 
which they stand rated on the books of the circar." 

XII. That the said Warren Hastings, instead of 
expressing any disapprobation of the proceedings 
aforesaid, in violation of the rights secured by treaty 
with the mother and grandmother of the reigning 
prince of Oude, and not less in violation of the sov- 



ereijm rights of the Nabob himself, did by frequent 
messages stimulate the said Middleton to a persever- 
ance in and to a rigorous execution of the same,— 
and in his letter from Benares of the 25th December, 
1781, did " express doubts of his firmness and activ- 
ity, and, above all, of his recollection of his instruc^ 
tions and their importance ; and that, if he could 
not rely on his own [power] and the means he pr 
sessed for performing those services, he would /m 
him [the said Middleton] /rom the charges, and would 
proceed himself to Lucknow, and would himself under- 
take them." 

XIII. That very doubtful credit is to be given to 
any letters written by the said Middleton to the said 
Warren Hastings, when they answer the purposes 
which the said Warren Hastings had evidently in 
view: the said Middleton having written to him in 
the following manner from Lucknow, 30th December, 

XIV. "My dear Sir,— I have this day answered 
your public letter in the form you seem to expect. I 
hope there is nothing in it that may appear to you too 
pointed. If you wish the matter to he otherwise under- 
stood than I have taken up and stated it, I need not say 
I shall be ready to conform to whatever you may pro- 
scribe, and to take upon myself any share of the blame 
of the (hitherto^ non-performance of the stipulations 
made on behalf of the Nahob : though I do assure you 
I myself represented to his Excellency and the min- 
isters, (conceiving it to be your desire,) that the ap- 
parent assumption of the reins of his government, (for 
in that light he undoubtedly considered it at the first 










view,) as specified in the agreement executed by liim, 
was not meant to be fully and literally enforced, but 
that it was necessary you shoidd have something to 
show on your side, as the Company were deprived of a 
benefit without a requital ; and upon the faith of this 
assurance alone, I believe I may safely affirm, his Ex- 
cellency's objections to signing the treaty were given 
up. If I have understood the matter wrong, or mis- 
conceived your dr^sign, I am truly sorry for it : how- 
ever, it is not too late to correct the error; and I am 
ready to undertake, and, God willing, to carry through, 
whatever you may, on receipt of my puilio Utter, tell me 
is your final resolve." 

XV. That it appears, but on his, the said Middle- 
ton's, sole authority, in a letter from the said Middle- 
ton, dated Lucknow, 2d December, 1781, that the Na- 
bob of Oude, wishing to evade the measure of resum- 
ing the jaghires aforesaid, did send a message to him, 
purporting, " that, if the measure proposed was in- 
tended to procure the payment of the balance due to 
the Company, he could better and more expeditiously 
effect that object by taking from his mother the treas- 
ures of his father, which he did assert to be in her 
hands, and to which he did claim a right ; and that it 
would be sufficient that he, the said Hastings, would 
hint his opinion upon it, without giving a formal sanc- 
tion to the measure proposed; and that, whatever his 
resolution upon the subject should be, it would be 
expedient to keep it secret": adding, "2%e resump- 
tion of the jaghires it is necessary to suspend till I have 
your answer to this letter." 

XVI. That it does not appear that the said Hast- 



ings did write any letter in answer to the proposal of 
the said Middleton, but he, the said Hastings, did 
communicate his pleasure thereon to Sir El yah Im- 
poy, being then at Lucknow, for his, the said Middle- 
ton's, information ; and it does appear that the seiz- 
ing of the treasures of the mother of the Nabob, said 
to have been proposed as an alternative by the said 
Nabob to prevent the resumption of tlie jaghires, was 
determined upon and ordered by the said Hastings, 
— and that the resumption of the said jaghires, for 
the ransom of which the seizing of the treasures was 
proposed, was also directed: not one only, but both 
sides of the alternative, being enforced upon the fe- 
male parents of the Nabob aforesaid, although both 
the one and the other had been secured to them by a 
treaty with the East India Company. 

XVIIL* That Sir Elijah Impoy, Knight, his Maj- 
esty's chief-justice at Fort William, did undertake 
a journey of nine hundred miles, from Calcutta to 
Lucknow, on pretence of health and pleasure, but 
was in reality in the secret of these and other ir- 
regular transactions, and employed as a channel of 
confidential communication therein. And the said 
Warren Hastings, by presuming to employ the said 
chief-justice, a person particularly unfit for an agent, 
ill the transaction of affairs prima facie at least un- 
just, violent, and oppressive, contrary to public faith, 
and to the sentiments and law of Nature, and which 
he, the said Hastings, was sensible " could not fail to 
draw obloquy on himself by his participation," did 
disgrace the king's commission, and render odious to 
the natives of Hiudostau the justice of the crown of 
Great Britain. 

• Sic orig. 

^ ij 

p n 



'1 / 

4i^v ' 

i. , ■ ' ' 

■I ' '^^' I ' H 

XIX. That, although the said Warren Hastings 
was from the beginning duly informed of the violence 
offered to the personal inclinations of the Nabob, and 
tlie " apparent assumption of the reins of his govern- 
ment," for the purposes aforesaid, yet more than two 
years after he did write to his private agent, Major 
Palmer, that is to say, in his letter of the 6th of May, 
1783, " that it has been a matter of equal turprise 
and concern to him to learn from the letters of the 
Resident that the Nabob Vizier was with difficulty 
and almost unconquerable reluctance induced to give 
his consent to the attachment of the treasure depos- 
ited by his father under the charge of the Begum, 
his mother, and to the resumption of her jaghire, 
and the other jaghires of the individuals of his fam- 
ily " : which pretence of ignorance of the Nabob's in- 
clinations is fictitious and groundless. Bvt whatever 
deception he might pretend to be in concerning the 
original intention of the Nabob, he was not, nor did 
he pretend to be, ignorant of his, the Nabob's, reluc- 
tance to proceed in the said measures ; but did admit 
his knowledge of the Nabob's reluctanct o their full 
execution, and yet did justify the same as follows. 

XX. " I desire that you will inform him [the Na- 
bob], that, in these and the other measures which 
were either proposed by hira or received his concur- 
rence in the agreement passed between us at Chunar, 
I neither had nor could have any object but his relief, 
and the strengthening of his connection with the Com- 
pany; and that I should not on any other ground 
have exposed myself to the personal obloquy which they 
could not fail to draw upon me by my participation in 
them, but left him to regulate by his own discretion 



and by his own means the economy ol his own finan- 
ces, and, with much more cause, the aisertion of hU do- 
meitic rig\t. In these he had no regular claim to viy 
interference; nor had I, in my public character, any 
claim upon him, but for the payment of the debt then 
due from him to the Company, although I was under 
the strongest obligations to require it for the relief 
of the pressing exigencies of their affairs. Ho will 
well remember the manner in which, at a visit to 
him in his own tent, T declared my acquiescence free- 
ly, and without hesitation, to each proposition, which 
after . ards formed the substance of a written agree- 
ing' ds he severally made them ; and he can want 
\\( vher evidence of my motives for so cheerful a con- 
setiC, nor for the requests which I added as the moans 
of fulfilling his purposes in them. Had he not made 
these measures his own option, I should not have pro- 
posed them ; but having once adopted them, and made 
them the conditions of a formal and sacred agreement, 
I had no longer an option to dispense with them, but 
was bound to the complete performance and exeeuthn 
of them, as points of public duty and of national faith, 
for which I was responsible to my king, and the Com- 
pany my immediate superiors : and this was the reason 
for my insisting on their performance and execution, 
when I was told that the Nabob himself had rdaxed 
from his original purpose, and expressed a reluctance to 
•proceed in it" 

XXI. That the said Warren Hastings does admit 
that the Nabob had originally no regular claim up- 
on him for his interference, or he any claim on the 
Nabob, which might entitle him to interfere in the 
Nabolj's domestic concerns; yet, in order to justify 






y ij 




If! Ill I.; 

his so invidious an interference, lie did, in lie letter 
aforesaid, give a false account of the paid treaty, 
which (as before mentioned) did nothing more than 
give a permmion to the Nabob to resume the jaghires, 
if HE should judge the tame to he necettary, and did 
therefore leave the right of dispensing with the whole, 
or any part thereof, as much in his option after the 
treaty as it was before: the declared intent of the 
article bei ig only to remove the restraint of the 
Company's guaranty forbidding such resumption, 
but furnishing nothing which could authorize put- 
ting that resumption into the hands and power of 
the Company, to be enforced at their discretion. 
And with regard to the other part of the spoil made 
by order of the said Hastings, and by him in the let- 
tor aforesaid stated to be made equally against the 
will of the Nabob, namely, that which was committed 
on the personal and movable property of the female 
parents of the Nabob, nothing whatsoever in relation 
to the same is stipulated in the said pretended treaty. 

XXII. That the said Hastings, in asserting that 
he was bound to the acts aforesaid by public duty, 
and even by national faith, in the very instance in 
which that national faith was by him grossly violated, 
and in justifying himself by alleging that he was 
bound to the complete execution by a responsibility 
to the Company which he immediately se 1, and 
by asserting that these violent and rapacious pro- 
ceedings, subjecting all persons concerned in them 
to obloquy, would be the means of streng hening 
the connection of the Nabob with the British United 
Company of Merchants trading to the East Indies, 
did disgrace the authority under wliich he immedi- 




ately acted. And that the said Hastings, i i justify- 
ing his obligations to the said acts by a rosp iisibility 
to the kinff, namely, to the Kin-; of Great IJniaia, did 
endeavor to throw upon his Majesty, his lawful sover- 
eign, (whoso name and charactc- ho was 1- and to 
respect, and to preserve in estimation with :ill per- 
sons, and particularly with the s. vereign prii. 's, t\\o 
allies of his government,) tho disgrace and odium >t 
the aforesaid acts, in which a sovereign prince was 
by him, the said Hastings, made an instrument of 
perfidy, wrong, and outrage to to 'nothers and 
wives of sovereign i>rinces, and in which he -lid ex- 
hibit to all Asia (a country remarkable for tho ut- 
most devotion to par iital authority) the spijctacle of 
a Christian governo , representing a Christian sover- 
eign, compelluig a son I) become the instrument of 
such violence and exto: uon against his own mother. 

That the >aid Warn u Hastings, by repeated mes- 
sages and injunctions, and under menaces of "a 
dreadful responsibility," dil urge the Reside i * to a 
co.npletion of this barburovi^ act; and w.>ll ku,,wing 
that such an act would probably be resisted, aid or- 
der him, the .aid Resident, to tise the Brin-l; troops 
under his direction fnr that purpose; and did jffer 
the assif^tance of further forces, urging the execution 
in the following peremptory terms : " Y<ni youraelf 
must be fermrally pr t; you must i allow any 
negotiation o brboai .k ■, but must p osecute both 
services, until be IJegums [princesses] a'-e at th en- 
tire mercy of leXii'Ob."* 

XXIH. Tliai: i conformity to the said p.3remp- 
tory orders, a pars/ of British and other troops, with 

• 26th Dec, T81. 




( .' 







the Nabob in the ostensible, and the British Resident 
in the real command, were drawn towards the city of 
Pyzabad, in the castle of which city the mother and 
grandmother of the Nabob had their residence ; and 
after expending two days in negotiation, (the particu- 
lars of which do not appear,) the Resident not receiv- 
ing the satisfaction he looked for, the town was first 
stormed, and afterwards the castle ; and little or no 
resistance being made, and no blood being shed on 
either side, the British troops occupied all the outer 
inclosure of the palace of one of the princesses, and 
blocked up the other.* 

XXrV. That this violent assault, and forcible oc- 
cupation of their houses, and the further extremities 
they had to apprehend, did not prevail on the female 
parents of the Nabob to consent to any submission, 
until the Resident sent in unto them a letter fVom the 
said Warren Hastings,! (no copy of which appears,) 
declaring himself no longer bound by the guaranty, 
and containing such other matter as tended to re- 
move all their hopes, which seemed to be centred in 
British faith. 

XXV. That the chief officers of their household, 
who were their treasurers and confidential agents, the 
eunuchs Jewar Ali Khftn and Behar Ali Kh&n, per- 
sons of great eminence, rank, and distinction, who 
had been in high trust and favor with the late Nabob, 
were ignominiously put into confinement under an 
inferior officer, in order to extort the discovery of the 
treasures and effects committed to their care and 
fidelity. And the said Middleton did soon after, that 

• 13th Jan., 1782. t ISth Jan., 1782. 




is to say, on the 12th of January, 1782, deliver them 
over for the same purpose into the custody of Captain 
Neal Stuart, commanding the eighth regiment, by his 
order given in the following words : " To be kept in 
close and secure confinement, admitting of no inter- 
course with them, excepting by their four menial 
servants, who are authorized to attend them until 
further orders. You will allow them to l-..vo any 
necessary and convenience which may be consistent 
with a strict guard over them." 

XXVI. That, in consequence of these severities 
upon herself, and on those whom she most regarded 
and trusted, the mother of the said Nabob did at 
length consent to the delivering up of her treasures, 
and the same were paid to the Resident, to the 
amount of the bond given by the Nabob to the Com- 
pany for his balance of the" year 1779-80 ; and the 
said treasure " was taken from the most secret re- 
cesses in the houses of the two eunuchs." 

XXVII. That the Nabob continuing still under 
the pressure of a further pretended debt to the Com- 
pany for his balance of the year 1780-81, the Resi- 
dent, not satisfied with the seizure of the estates and 
treasures of his parents aforesaid, although he, the 
said Resident, did confess that the princess mother 
" had declared, with apparent truth, that she had de- 
livered up the whole of the property in her hands, ex- 
cepting goods which from the experience which he, 
the Resident, had of the mall produce of the sales of 
a former payment made by her in that mode he did 
refuse, and that in his opinion it certainly would have 
amounted to little or nothing," did proceed to extort 










another great sum of money, that is to say, the sum 
of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling, 
on account of the last pretended balance aforesaid : 
in order, therefore, to compel the said ministers and 
treasurers either to distress their principals by extort- 
ing whatever valuable substance migh^ by any possi- 
bility remain concealed, or to furnish the said sum 
from their own estates or from their credit with their 
friends, did order their imprisonment to be aggravat- 
ed with circumstances of great cruelty, giving an 
order to Lieutenant Francis Rutledge, dated 20th 
January, 1782, in the following words. 

XXVin. "Sir, — When this nw^e is delivered to 

you by Hoolas Roy, I have to desirt. that you order 

the two prisoners to be put in irons, keeping them from 

all food, ^c, agreeable to my instructions of yesterday. 

(Signed) " Nath'- Middleton." 

XXIX. That by the said unjust and rigorous pro- 
ceeding the said eunuchs were compelled to give their 
engagement for the payment of one hundred and twen- 
ty thousand pounds sterling aforesaid, to be completed 
within the period of one month ; but after they had 
entered into the said compulsory engagement, they 
were still kept in close imprisonment, and the mother 
and grandmother of the Nabob were themselves held 
under a strict guard, — although, at the same time, 
the confiscated estates were actually in the Company's 
possession, and found to exceed the amount of what 
they were rated at in the general list of confiscated 
estates,* and although the Assistant Reside' ., John- 
son, did confess, " that the object of distressing tho 

• Letter from Mr. Middleton, 2d Feb , 1782. 



Bhow Begum was merely to obtain a ready-money in- 
stead of a dilatory payment, and that this ready-money 
payment, if not paid, was recoverable in the course 
of a few months upon the jaghires in his possession, 
and that therefore it was not worth proceeding to any 
extremities, beyond the one described," (namely, the 
confinement of the princesses, and the imprisonment 
and fettering of their ministers,) " upon so respecta- 
ble a family." * 

XXX. That, after the surrender of the treasure, 
and the passing the bonds and obligations given as 
aforesaid, the Resident having been strictly ordered by 
the said Warren Hastings not to make any settlement 
whatsoever with the said women of high rank, the Na- 
bob was induced to leave the city of Fyzabad without 
taking leave of his mother, or showing her any mark 
of duty or civility. And on the same day the Resi- 
dent left the city aforesaid ; and after his return to 
Lucknow, in order to pacify the said Hastings, who 
appeared to resent that the Nabob was not urged to 
greater degrees of rigor than those hitherto used to- 
wards his mother, he, the said Resident, did, in his 
letter of the 6th February, give him an assurance in 
the following words : — "I shall, as you direct, use 
my influence to dissuade his Excellency from con- 
cluding any settlement until I have your further com- 

XXXI. That the payment of the bond last extort- 
ed from the eunuchs was soon after commenced, and 
the grandmother, as well as the mother, wore now 
compelled to deliver what they declared was the extertt 


VOL. Till. 

• Lucknuw, 22d July, 178S. 

I »l 





of the whol: of both their possessions, including down 
iothoir table utmsih; which, as tlie Resident admi^ 
ted "thoy had been and were stiU delivering, and 
that no proof had yet been obtained of their having 

XXXn. That bullion, jewels, and goods, to the 
amount of five hundred thousand g)unds and n^ 
wards, were actually received by the Resident for the 
use of the Company before the 23d of February 
1782: and there remained on the said extorted bond 
no more than about twenty-five thousand pounds ac- 
cording to the statement of the eunuchs, and not above 
fifty thousand accoraing to that made by the Resident. 

XXXIII That, in this advanced state of the de- 
livery of the extorted treasure, the ministers of the 
women aforesaid of the reigning family did apply to 
Captain Leonard Jaques, under whose custody they 
were confined, to be informed of the deficiency with 
which they stood charged, that they might endeavor 
with the assistance of their friends, to provide for the 
same, and praying that they might through his medi- 
ation be freed from the hardships they suffered under 
their confinement : to which application they received 
an insolent answer from the said Richard Johnson 
dated February 27th, 1782, declaring that part of 
what he had received in payment was m jewels and 
bullion, and that more than a month the time fixed 
for the final payment, would elapse before he could dis- 
pose of the same, - insisting upon a ready-money p^- 
meut, and assuring them " that the day on which their 
agreement expired he should be indispensaby obliged 
to recommence severities upon them, until the la^t 



tarthing was fully paid." And in order to add to 
their terrors and hardships, as well as to find some 
pretext for the further cruel and inhuman acts intend- 
ed, an apparently groundless and injurious charge 
was suggested to the imprisoned ministers aforesaid 
in the following words. " You may also mention to 
Ihem, that I have reason to suspect that the com- 
motions raised by Bulbudder have not been without 
their suggestion and abetment, which, if proved upon 
them, in addition to the probable breach of their agree- 
ment, will make their situation very desperate." 

XXXIV. That on the receipt of the said letter, 
that is, on the 2d March, the ministers aforesaid did 
aver, that they were not able to obtain cash in lieu of 
the jewels and other effects, but that, if the goods 
were sold, and they released from their confinement, 
and permitted (as they have before requested) to go 
abroad among their friends, they could soon make 
good the deficiency; and they did absolutely deny 
" chat they had any hand in the commotions raised by 
Bulbudder, or any kind of correspondence with him 
or his adherents." 

XXXV. That the prisoners aforesaid did shortly 
after, that is to say, on the 13th March, a third time 
renew their application to Nathaniel Middleton, Es- 
quire, the Resident, and did request that the jewels 
remaining in his, the said Resident's, hands, towards 
the payment of the balance remaining, " might be val- 
ued by four or five eminent merchants, Mussulmen 
and Hindoos, upon oath," and that, if any balance 
should afterwards appear, they would upon their re- 
lease get their friends to advance the same ; and they 

( '. 





i* f '<• 
if ■';'(' 

Mi II 


did again represent the hardship of their imprison- 
ment, and pray for relief; and did again assert that 
the imputations thrown upon them hy the said Rich- 
ard Johnson were false and groundless, — " that they 
had no kind of intercourse, either directly or indirect- 
ly, with the authors of the commotions alluded to, and 
that they did stake their lives upon the smallest proof 
thereof being brought." 

XXXVI. That, instead of their receiving any an- 
swer to any of the aforesaid reasonable propositions, 
concerning either the account stated, or the crimes 
imputed to them, or any relief from the hardships 
they suffered, he, the Resident, Middleton, did, on the 
18th of the said month, give to the officer who had 
supplicated in favor of the said prisoners an order in 
which he declared himself " under the disagreeable 
necessity of recurring to severities to enforce the said 
payment, and thtt this is therefore to desire that you 
immediately cause them to he put in irons, and keep 
them so until I shall arrive at Fyzabad to take further 
measures as may be necessary " : which ordor being 
received at Fyzabad the day after it was given, the 
said eunuchs were a second time thrown into irons. 
And it appears that (probably in resentment for the 
humane representations of the said Captain Jaques) 
the Resident did refuse to pay for the fetters, and 
other conMngent charges of the imprisonment of the 
said ministers of the Nabob's mother, when at the 
same time very liberal contingent allowances were 
made to other officers; and the said Jaques did 
strongly remonstrate against the same as follows. 
"You have also ordered me to put the prisoners in 
irons : this I have done ; yet, as I have no business 




to purchase fetters, or supply them any other way, it 
is but reasonable that you should order me to be re- 
imbursed. And why should I add anything more? 
A late commander at this place, I am told, draws 
near as many thousands monthly contingencies as my 
trifling letter for hundreds. However, if you cannot 
get my bill paid, be so obliging as to return it, and 
give me an opportunity of declaring to the world that 
I beMeve I am the first officer in the Company's ser- 
vice who has suffered in his property by an independ- 
ent command." 


XXXVII. That, in about two months after the 
said prisoners had continued in irons in the manner 
aforesaid, the officer on guard, in a letter of the 18th 
May, did represent to the Resident as follows. " The 
prisoners, Behar and Jewar Ali Khan, who seem to 
lae very sickly, have requested their irons might be 
taken off for a few days, that they might take medi- 
cine, and walk about the garden of the place where 
they are confined. Now, as I am sure thei/ will he 
equally secure without their irons as with them, I think 
it my duty to inform you of this request: I desire 
to know your pleasure concerning it." To which 
letter the said officer did receive a direct refusal, 
dated 22d May, 1782, in the following words. " I am 
sorry it is not in my power to comply with your pro- 
posal of easing the prisoners for a few days of their 
fetters. Much as my humanity may be touched by 
their sufferings, I should think it inexpedient to afford 
them any alleviation while they persist in a breach of 
their contract with me : and, indeed, no indulgence 
can be s-liown them without the authority of the Na- 
bob, who, instead of consenting to moderate the rigors 






of their situation, would be most willing to multiply 
them": — endeavoring to join the Nabob, whom he 
well knew to be reluctant in the whole proceeding, 
as a partv in the cruelties by which, through the 
medium of her servants, it was intended to coerce 
his mother. 

XXXVIII. That the said Resident, in a few days 
after, that is to say, on the 1st June, 1782, in a letter 
to Major Gilpin, in command at Fyzabad, did order 
the account, as by himself stated, to be read to tho 
prisoners, and, without taking any notice of their pro- 
posal concerning the valuation of the effects, or their 
denial of the offences imputed to them, to demand a 
positive answer relative to the payment, and, " upon 
receiving from them a negative or unsatisfactory re- 
ply, to inform them, that, all further negotiation be- 
ing at an end, they must prepare for their removal to 
Lucknow, where they would be called upon to answer 
not only their recent breach of faith and solemn en- 
gagement, but also to atone for other heavy offences, 
the punishment of which, as had frequently been sig- 
nified to them, it was in their power to huve mitigated 
by a proper acquittal of themselves in this transac- 
tion." By which insinuations concerning the pre- 
tended offences of the said unhappy persons, and the 
manner by which they were to atone for the same, 
and by their never having been specifically and direct- 
ly made, it doth appear that the said crimes and of- 
fences were charged for the purpose of extorting mon- 
ey, and not upon principles or for the ends of justice. 

XXXIX. That, after some ineffectual negotiations 
to make the prisoners pay the money, which it does 

■^ '^„ 




not appear to have been in their power to pay, they 
were again threatened by the Resident, in a letter to 
Major Gilpin, dated 9th June, 1782, in the following 
terms. "I wish you to explain once more to the 
prisoners the imprudence and folly of their conduct 
in forcing me to a measure which must be attended 
with consequences so very serious to them, and that, 
when once they are removed to Lucknow, it will not 
be in my power to show them mercy, or to stand be- 
tween them and the vengeance of tlie Nabob. Advise 
them to reflect seriously upon the unhappy situation 
in which they will be involved in one case, and the 
relief it will be in my power to procure them in the 
other; and let them make their option." 

XL. That he, the said Resident, did also, at the 
same time, receive a letter from the princess mother, 
which letter does not appear, bat to which only the 
following insolent return was made, — that is to say : 
" The letter from tlie Show Begum is no ways satis- 
factorv Mid I cannot think of returning an answer 
to it. - ideed, all correspondence between the Be- 
gum auu me has long been stopped ; and I request 
you will be pleased to inform her that I by no means 
wish to resume it, or to maintain any friendly inter- 
course with her, until she has made good my claim 
upon her for the balance due." 

XLI. That, in consequence of these threats, and 
to prevent a separation of the ministers from theh 
mistresses, several plans for the payment of the bal- 
ance were offered, both by the mother of the Nabob 
and the prisoners, to which no other objection appears 
to have been made tb^n the length of time required 






^ A 



by the parties to discharge the comparatively small 
remainder of the extorted bond : the oflScer on com- 
mand declaring, that, conformable to hie instructions, 
he could not receive the same.* 

XLII. That the prisoners were actually removed 
from the city of their residence to the city of Luck- 
now, where they arrived on the 24th of June, 1782, 
and were on the next day threatened with severities, 
" to make them discover where the balance might be 
procurable." And on the 28th, it shoiild seem, that 
the severities for the pariwse aforesaid were inflicted, 
at least upon one of them ; for the Assistant Resi- 
dent, Johnson, did on that day write to Captain 
Waugh, the officer commanding the guard, the letter 
following, full of disgrace to the honor, justice, and 
humanity of the British nation. 

XLIII. "Sir,— The Nabob having determined to 
inflict corporal punishment upon the prisoners under 
your guard, this is to desire that his officers, when 
they shall come, may have free access to the prison- 
ers, and be permitted to do with them as they shall see 
proper, only taking care that they leave them always 
under your charge." 

XLIV. That the said Hichard Johnson d d, fur- 
ther to terrify the pi soners, and to extort by all ways 
the remainder of the said unjust, oppressive, and ra- 
pacious demand, threaten to remove them out of the 
Nabob's dominions into the castle of Churnagur, in 
order forever to separate them from their principals, 
and deprive both of their reciprocal protection and 

• Major Gilpin's Letter, 15th June, 1782. 




•ervices ,• — and did order a further guard to bo put 
on the palace of the grandmother of the Nabob, an 
ally of the Company, and to prevent the entra"ce of 
the provisions to her, (which order relative t the 
guard only was executed,) and did use eundi-y un- 
worthy and insulting menaces both with regard to 
herself and to her principal miuisters.f 

XLV. That a proposal was soon after made by 
the said princess and her daughter-in-law, praying 
that their ministers aforesaid should be returned to 
Fyzabad, and offering to raise a sum of money on 
that condition ;t as also that they would remove 
from one of their palaces, whilst the English were 
to be permitted to search the other.§ But the As- 
sistant Resident, Johnson, did, instead of a compli- 
ance with the former of these propositions, send the 
following orders, dated 2.3d July, 1782, to the officer 
commanding the guard on the ministers aforesaid: 
♦' Some violent demands having been made for the re- 
lease of the prisoners, it is necessary that every pos- 
sible precaution be taken for their security ; you will 
therefore be pleased to be very strict in guarding 
them; and I herewith send another pair of fetters to 
be added to those now upon the prisoners." And in 
answer to the second proposition, the said Resident 
did reply in tlie following terms: "The proposal of 
evacuating one palace, that it may be searched, and 
then evacuating the next, upon the same principle, is 
apparently fair; but it is well known, in the first 
place, that such bricked-up or otherwise hidden treas- 

• Mr. Johnson's Letter, 9th July, 1782. 
t Major GUpin's Letter, 6th July, 1782. 
g Mr. Johnwn's Letter, 22d July, 1782. 

t Ibid., 4th July, 1782. 











1 ■ 1 

ure is not to be hit upon in a day without a guide. 
I liave therefore informed tl»c Nabob of this proposal, 
and, if the matter is to be reduced to a search, he will 
go himself, with such people as he may possess for 
information, together with tljo prisoners ; and when 
in possession of the ground, by punishing the prisoners, 
or by such other means as he may find most effectual 
to forward a successful search upon the spot, he will 
avail himself of the proposal made by the Show Be- 

XL VI. That, probably from the Nabob's known 
and avowed reluctance to lend himself to the perpe- 
tration of the oppressive and iniquitous proceedings 
of the representative of tlie Britisli government, the 
scandalous plan aforesaid was not carried into execu- 
tion ; and all the rigors practised upon the chief min- 
isters of the ladies aforesaid at Lucknow being found 
ineffectual, and the princess mother having declared 
herself ready to deliver up everything valuable in 
her possession, which Behar Ali Khftn, one of her 
confidential ministers aforesaid, only could come at, 
the said change of prison was agreed to, --but not 
until the Nabob's mother aforesaid had engaged to 
pay for the said change of prison a sum of ten thou- 
sand pounds, (one half of which was paid on tlie re- 
turn of the eunuchs.) and that " she would ransack 
the zenanah [women's apartments] for kincobs, mus- 
lins, clothes, Ac, &c., &c., and that she would even 
allow a deduction from the annual allowance made to 
her for her subsistence in lieu of her jaghire." * 

XLVn. That, soon after the return of the aforesaid 

• Miuor Gilpin's Letters, 16th June and 1 5th Sept, 1788. 



miuistcrs to the place of tlicir impnsoiaiicut at Fyz- 
abad, bonds for tbe five tbou^aii.l pounds aforesaid, 
and goods, estimated, according to tlie valuatioi. of a 
merchant appointed to the same, at the sum 
of forty thousand pounds, even allowing them to sell 
greatly under their value, were delivered tu the com- 
manding officer at Fyzabad ; lud the said Ci.mmand- 
ing offic or did promise to the B -'um to visit Luck- 
uow with such proposals as he hoi-cd would sccuro 
the small balance of fifteen thousand pounds remain- 
ing of the unjust exaction afore, id.* But the said 
Resident, Midd!.^ton, did, in his letter of the 17th of 
the said month, positively refuse to listen to any 
terms before the final discharge of the whole of tho 
demand, and did positively forbid tho commanding 
officer to come to Lucknow to make the proposal 
aforesaid in the terms following. " As it is not jKissi- 
blo to listen to any terras from the Begums before 
the final discharge of their conditional agreement for 
fifty-five lacs, your coming here upon such an agency 
can only be lost of time in completing the recovery 
of the balance of 6,55,000, for whicli your regiment 
was sent to Fyzabad. I must thu-ofore desire you 
will leave no efforts, gentle or harsh, unattempted to 
complete this, before you move from Fyzabad ; and I 
am very anxious that this should be as soon as possi- 
ble, as I want to employ your regiment upon oth^r emer- 
gent service, now suffering by every delay" 

XLVIII. That the goods aforesaid were sent to 
Lucknow, and disposed of in a manner unknown ; 
and the harsh and oppressive measures aforesaid being 
still continued, the Begum did, about the middle of 

• Miyor Gilpin's Letter, 15th Sept., 1782. 












/' ? I i 

October, 1782, cause to be represented to the said 
Middleton as follows. " That her situation was truly 
pitiable, — her estate sequestered, her treasury ran- 
sacked, her cojahs prisoners, and her servants de- 
serting daily from want of subsistence. That she 
had solicited the loan of money, to satisfy the de- 
mands of the Company, from every person that she 
imagined would or could assist her with any; but 
that the opulent would not listen to her adversity. 
She had hoped that the wardrobe sent to Luckuow 
might have sold for at least one half of the Company's 
demands on her; but even jewelry and goods, she 
finds from woful experience, lose their value the 
moment it is known they come from her. That she 
had now solicited the loan of cash from Almas Ali 
Kh&u, and if she failed in that application, she had 
no hopes of ever borrowing a sum equal to the de- 
mand '' : * — an hope not likely to be realized, as the 
said Almas Ali was then engaged for a sum of mon- 
ey to be raised for the Company's use on tlie securi- 
ty of their confiscated lands, the restoration of which 
could form the only apparent security for a loan. 

XLIX. That this remonstrance produced no efifect 
on the mind of the aforesaid Resident, — who, being 
about this time removed from his Residency, did, in 
a letter to his successor, Mr. Bristow, dated 23d Oc- 
tober, 1782, in effect recommend a perseverance in 
the cruel and oppressive restraints aforesaid as a cer- 
tain means of recovering the remainder of the extort- 
ed bond, and that the lands with which the princesses 
aforesaid had been endowed should not be restored to 

•Major Gilpin's Letter, 19tb Oct, 1783. 



L. That the said Warren Hastings was duly ap- 
prised of all the material circumstances in the unjust 
proceedings aforesaid, but did nothing to stop the 
course they were in, or to prevent, relieve, or mitigate 
the sufferings of the parties affected by them : on the 
contrary, he did, in his letter of the 25th of January, 
1782, to the Resident, Middleton, declare, that the Na- 
bob having consented to the " resumption of the jag- 
hires held by the Begums, and to the confiscation of 
their treasures, and thereby involved my own name 
and the credit of the Company in a participation of 
both measures, I have a right to require and insut on 
the complete execution of them; and I look to you for 
their execution, declaring that I shall hold you ac- 
countable for it." And it appears that he did write 
to the Nabob a letter in the same peremptory manner : 
but the said letter has been suppressed. 

LI. That he, the said Hastings, further did mani- 
fest the concern he took in, and the encouragement 
which he gave to the proceedings aforesaid, by confer- 
ring honors and distinctions upon the ministers of the 
Nabob, whom he, the Nabob, did consider as having 
in the said proceedings disobeyed him and betrayed 
him, and as instruments in the dislionor of his family 
and the usurpation of his authority. That the said 
ministers did make addresses to the said Hastings for 
that purpose (which addresses the said Hastings hath 
suppressed) ; and the Resident, Middleton, did, with 
his letter of the 11th of February, 1782, transmit the 
same, and did in the said letter acquaint the said 
Hastings " that, the ministers of the Nabob had in- 
curred much odium on account of their participatici 
in his measures, and that they were not only consid- 










ered by the party of the dispossessed jaghiredars, and 
the mother and uncle of the Nabob, but by the Nabob 
himxelf, as the dependants of the English government, 
which they certainly are, and it is by its declared and 
most obvio-.'s support alone that they can maintain the 
authority and influence which is indispensably ne- 
cessary." And the said Middleton did therefore rec- 
ommend "that they should be honored with some 
testimony of his [the said Hastings's] approbation and 
favor." And he, the said Warren Hastings, did send 
kellauts, or robes of honor, (the most public and dis- 
tinguished mode of acknowledging merit known in 
India,) to the said ministers, in testimony of his ap- 
probation of their late services. 

LII. That the said Hastings did not only give the 
aforesaid public encouragement to the ministers of the 
Nabob to betray and insult their master and his fam- 
ily in the manner aforesaid, but, when tlie said Nabob 
did write several letters to him, the said Hastings, ex- 
pressive of his dislike of being used as an instrument 
in the .lishoDorable acts aforesaid, and refusing to be 
further concerned therein, he, the said Warren Hast- 
ings, did not only suppress and hide the said letters 
from the view of the Court of Directors, but in his 
instructions to the Resident, Bristow, did attribute 
them to Hyder Beg Khan, minister to the Nabob, 
(whom in other respects he did before and ever since 
support against his master,) and did express himself 
with great scorn u contempt of the said Nabob, and 
with much asperity against the said minister : affirm- 
ing, in proud and insolent terms, that he had, " by an 
abuse of his influence over the Nabob, — he, the Na- 
bob himself, being (as he ever must be in the hands of 




some person) a mere cipher in his [the said mimiter's}, 
— dared to make him [the Nabob] assume a very 
unbecoming tone of refusal, reproach, and rescntmeut, 
in opposition to measures recor.,mended by ME, and 
eyen to acts done by MY authonfy" : the said Hast- 
ings, in the instruction al resaid, particularizmg the 
resumption of the jaghires, and the couQscation of 
the treasures that had been so long suffered to re- 
main in the hands of his, the Nabob's, mother. But 
the letters of the Nabob, which in the said instructions 
he refers to as containing an opposition to the meas- 
ures recommended by him, and which he asserts was 
conveyed in a very unbecoming tone of refusal, re- 
proach, and resentment, he, the said Hastings, hatli 
criminally withheld from the Company, contrary to 
their orders, and to his duty, — and the more, as the 
said letters must tend to show in what manner the 
said Nabob did feel the indignities offered to his 
mother, and the manner in which the said ministers, 
notwithstanding their known dependence on the Eng- 
lish government, did express their sense of the part 
which their sovereign was compelled to act in the said 
disgraceful measures. And in furtlier instructions to 
him, the said new Resident, ho did declare his ap- 
probation of the evil acts aforesaid, as well as his res- 
olution of compelling the Nabob to those rigorous 
proceedings against his parent from which he had 
long shown himself so very averse, in the following 
words. "The severities which have been increased 
towards the Begums were most justly merited by the 
advantage which they took of the troubles in which I 
was personally involved last year, to create a rebellion 
in the Nabob's government, and to complete the ruin 
which they thought was impending on ours. If it is 








», : 





the Nabob's desire to forget and to forgive tho'r past 
offences, I have no objection to his allowing them, iu 
pension, the nominal amount of their jaghires ; but if 
he shall ever offer to restore their jaghires to them, or 
to give them any property in land, after the warning 
which they have given him by the dangerous abuse 
which they formerly made of his indulgence, you 
must remonstrate in the strongest terms against it ; 
t/ou must not permit such an event to take place, until 
this government shall have received information of it, 
and shall have had time to interpose its influence for 
the prevention of it." And the said Warren Hast- 
ings, who did in the manner aforesaid positively refuse 
to admit the Nabob to restore to his mother and grand- 
mother any part of their landed estates for their main- 
tenance, did well know that the revenues of the said 
Nabob were at that time so far applied to tlie demands 
of the Company, (by him, the said Warren Hastings, 
aggravated beyond the whole of what they did pro- 
duce,) or were otherwise so far applied to the purposes 
of several of the servants of tlie Company, and others, 
the dependants of him, the said Hastings, tliat none 
of the pensions or allowances, assigned by the said 
Nabob in lieu of the estates confiscated, were paid, 
or were likely to be discharged, with that punctu- 
ality which was necessary even to the scanty subsist- 
ence of the persons to which they were in name and 
appearance applied. For, 

LHI. That, so early as the 6th March, 1782, Cap- 
tain Leonard Jaques, who commanded tlie forces on 
duty for the purpose of distressing the several wom- 
en in the palaces at Fyzabad, did complain to the 
Resident, Richard Johnson, in tlie following words. 


"U ^ I: 

1-. ; ! 



•' The women belonging to the Khord Moliul (or les- 
ser palace) complain of their being in want of every 
necessary of life, and are at last driven to that des- 
peration that they at night get on the top of the ze- 
nanah, make a great disturbance, and last night not 
only alarmed the sentinels posted in the garden, but 
threw dirt at them ; they threaten to throw them- 
selves from the walls of the zenanah, and also to 
break out of it. Humanity obliges mo to acquaint 
you of this matter, and to request to know if you 
have any directions to give mo concerning it. I also 
beg leave to acquaint you I sent for Letafit Ali Khan, 
the cojah who has the charge of them, and who in- 
forms me it is well grounded, — that they have sold 
everything they had, even to the clotheafrom their hacks, 
and now have no means of suhBisting^ 





LIV. That the distresses of the said women grew 
so urgent on the night of the said 6th of March, the 
day when the letter above recited was written, that 
Captain Leonard Jaques aforesaid did think it neces- 
sary to write again, on the day following, to the Brit- 
ish Resident in the following words. " I beg leave 
to address you again concerning the women in the 
Khord Mohul [the lesser palace] . Tlieir beliavior last 
night was so furious, that there seemed the greatest 
probability of their proceeding to the uttermost ex- 
tremities, and that they would either throw themselves 
from the walls or force open the doors of the zenanah. 
I have made every inquiry concerning the cause of 
their complaints, and find from Lctafit Ali Klian 
that they are in a starving condition, having sold all 
their clothes aiid necessaries, and now have not where- 
withal to support nature ; and as my instructions are 

VOL. V511. 28 







*^- f 

quite silent on this head, I should be glad to know 
how to proceed, in case they were to force the doors 
of the zenanah, as I suspect it will happen, should no 
subsistence be very quickly sent to them." 

LV That, in consequence of these representations, 
it appears that the said Resident, Richard Jolmson, 
did promise that an application should be made to 
certain of the servants of the Nabob Vizier to provide 
for their subsistence. 

LVI. That Captain Jaques being relieved from the 
duty of imprisoning the women of Sujah ul Dowlah, 
the late sovereign of Oude, an ally of the Company, 
who dwelt in the said lesser palace, and Major Gilpm 
being appointed to succeed, the same malicious de- 
sign of destroying the said women, or the same scan- 
dalous neglect of their preservation and subsistence, 
did still continue ; and Major Gilpin found it neces- 
sary to apply to the new Resident, Bristow, m a let- 
ter of the 30th of October, 1782, as follows. 

LVII. " Sir, — Last night, about eight o'clock, the 
women in the Khord Mohul [lesser palace] or zena- 
nah [women's apartment] under the charge of Leta- 
fit Ali Khan, assembled on the tops of the buildings. 
crying in a most lamentable manner for food, — that for 
the last four days they had got but a very scanty allow- 
ance, and that yesterday they had got nows. 

LVIII. " The melancholy cries of famine are mare 
easily imagined than described; and from their repre- 
sentation I fear tlie Nabob's agents for that busiaess 
are very inattentive. I therefore think it requisite to 




make you acquainted with the circumstance, that his 
Excellency, the Nabob, may cause his agents to be 
more circumspect in their conduct towards these poor 
unhappy women." 

LIX. That, although the Resident, Bristow, did 
not then think himself authorized to remove the 
guard, he did apply to the minister of the Nabob, 
who did promise some relief to the women of the late 
Nabob, confined in the lesser palace ; but apprehend- 
ing, with reason, that the minister aforesaid might 
not be more ready or active in making tho necessary 
provision for them than on former occasions, he did 
render himself personally responsible to Major Gilpin 
for the repayment of any sum, equal to one thousand 
pounds sterling, which he might procure for the sub- 
sistence of the sufferers. But whatever relief was 
given, (the amount thereof not appearing,) the same 
was soon exhausted ; and the number of persons to be 
maintained in the said lesser palace being eight hun- 
dred women, the women of the late sovereign, Sujah 
ul Dowlah, and several of the younger children of the 
said sovereign prince, besides their attendants, Major 
Gilpin was obliged, on the 15th of November follow- 
ing, again to address the Resident by a representa- 
tion of this tenor. 

" Sib, — The repeated cries of the women in the 
Khord Mohul Zenanah for subsistence have been truly 

LX. " They heg most piteously for liberty, that they 
may earn their daily bread by laborious servitude, or to 
be relieved from their misery by immediate death. 








It )m 

! i V *t ! 

1 Ij 

^ 'I: i' i- 

% I' f^i' 


LXI. " In consequence of their unhappy situation, 
I hayo this day taken the liberty of drawing on you 
in favor of Ramnarain, at ten days' sight, for twenty 
Son Kerah rupees, ten thousand of which I have paid 
to Cojah Letafit Ali KhAn, under whose charge that 
zenanah is." 

LXII. That, notwithstanding all the promises and 
reiterated engagements of the minister, Hyder Beg 
Khan, the ladies of the palace aforesaid fell again 
into extreme distress ; and the Resident did again 
complain to the said minister, who was considered to 
be, and really and substantially was, the minister of 
the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, aforesaid, 
and not of the Nabob, (the said Nabob being, accord- 
ing to the said Hastings's own account, " a cipher 
in his [the said minister's] hands,") that the funds 
allowed for their subsistence were not applied to 
their support. But notwithstanding all these repeat- 
ed complaints and remonstrances, and the constant 
promise of amendment on the part of his, the said 
Hastings's, minister, the supply was not more plenti- 
ful or more regular than before. 

LXni. That the said Resident, Bristow, finding 
by experience the inefficacy of the courses which had 
been pursued with regard to the motber and grand- 
mother of the reigning prince of Oude, and having 
received a report from Major Gilpin, informing mm 
that all which could be done by force had been done, 
and that the only hope wliich remained for realizing 
the remainder of the money, unjustly exacted as 
aforesaid, lay in more lenient methods,* he, the said 

• Mtgor Gilpin's Letter, 18 Nov., 1782. 




Resident, did, of his own authority, order tho re- 
moval of tho guard from tho palaces, the troops be- 
ing loug aud much wanted for tho defence of the fron- 
tier, and other material services, — and did release 
the said ministers of the said women of rank, who 
had been confined and put in irons, and variously 
distressed and persecuted, as aforerecited, for near 
twelve months.* 

LXIV. That the manner in which the said inhu- 
man acts of rapacity and violence were felt, both by 
the women of high rank concerned, and by all the 
people, strongly appears in the joy expressed on their 
release, which took place on the 5th of December, 
1782, and is stated in two letters of that date from 
Major Gilpin to the Resident, in the words following. 

LXV. " I have to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of the 2d instant, and in consequence immedi- 
ately enlarged the prisoners Behar Ali Khan and 
Jewar Ali Khan from their confinement: a circum- 
staucj that gave the Begums, and the city of Fyzabad 
in general, the greatest satisfaction. 

LXVI. " In tears o£ joy Behar and Jewar Ali 
Khun expressed their sincere acknowledgments to 
the Governor-General, his Excellency the Nabob 
Vizier, imd to you, Sir, for restoring them to that 
invaluaule blessing, liberty, for which they would 
ever retain the most grateful r«^membrance ; and at 
their request I transmit you the inclosed letters. 

LXVII. " I wish you had been present at the en- 

• Mr. Brintow'g Letter, 2d Doc., 1782. 

1 1' 









■: ! 

largement of the prisoners. The quivering lips, wiih 
the team of joy stealing down the poor men's cheeks, 
was a scene truly affecting. 

LXVni. " If the prayers of these poor men will 
avail, you will, at the last tbomp, be translated to the 
happiest regions in heaven." 

LXIX. And the Resident, Bristow, knowing how 
acceptable the said proceeding would be to all tlie 
people of Oude, and tlie neighboring indopendont 
countries, did generously and politically, (though not 
truly,) in his letter to tlio princess mother attribute 
the said relief given to herself, and the release of her 
ministers, to the humanity of the said Warren Hast- 
ings, agreeably to whose orders ho pretended to act : 
asserting, that he, the said Hastings, "was the spring 
from whence she was restored to her dignity and con- 
sequence."* And tlie account of the proceedings 
aforesaid was regularly transmitted to the said War- 
ren Hastings on the 30th of December, 1782, with tlie 
reasons and motives thereto, and a copy of the report 
of the officer concerning the inutility of furtl:er force, 
attended with sundry documents concerning the fam- 
ishing, and other treatment, of the women and chil- 
dren of the late sovereign : but the same appear to 
have made no proper impression on the mind of the 
said Warren Hastings ; for no answer whatsoever was 
givon to the said letter until the 3d of March, 1783, 
wlien the said Hastings, writing in Ids own character 
and that of the Council, did entirely pass by all the 
circumstances before recited, but did give directions 
for the renewal of measures of the like nature and 

• Mr. Briitow'« Letter, U Dec, 1782. 

|i ; 

V i*U 



tendency with those which (for several of the last 
mouths at least of the said proceeding) l»ad been em- 
ployed with 60 little advantage to tlie interest and 
with so much injury to the reputation of the Company, 
his masters, in whose name he acted, — expressing 
himself in the said letter of the 3d of March, 1783, 
as follows: "We desire you will inform us what 
means have l^een taken for recovering the balance 
[the pretended balance of the extorted money] due 
from the Begums [princesses] at Fyzabad ; and if ne- 
cessary, you must recommend it to tlie Vizier to en- 
force the most effectual meati» for that purpose." And 
the Resident did, in his answer to the board, dated 
SUt March, 1783, on this peremptory order, again 
detail the particulars aforesaid to the said Warren 
Hastings, referring him to his 'brmer correspondence, 
stating the utter impossibility of proceeding further 
by force, and mentioning certain other disgraceful 
and oppressive circumstances, and in particular, that 
the Company did not, in plundering the mother of the 
reigning prince of her wearing apparel and beasts of 
carriage, receive a value in the least equal to the loss 
slie suffered : the elephants having no buyer but the 
Nabob, and the clothes, which had last been delivered 
to Middleton at a valuation of thirty thousand pounds, 
were so damaged by ill keeping in warehouses, that 
t^ey co\ild not be sold, even for six months' credit, at 
iiiuch more than about eight thousand pounds ; by 
which a loss in a single article was incurred of twenty- 
two thousand pounds out of the fifty, for the recovery 
of which (suppo.-,ing it had been a just debt) such rig- 
orous means had been employed, after having actually 
received upwards of five hundred thousand pounds in 
value to the Company, and extorted much more in 
























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loss to the suffering individuals. And the said Bris- 
tow, being well acquainted with the unmerciful tem- 
per of the said Hastings, iu order to leave no means 
untried to appease him, not contented with the let- 
ter to the Governor-General and Council, did on the 
same day write another letter to him particularly, 
in which he did urge several arguments, the neces- 
sity of using of which to the said Hastings did reflect 
great dishonor on this nation, and on the Christian 
religion therein professed, namely: "That he had 
experienced great embarrassment in treating with 
her [the mother of the reigning prince] ; for, as the 
mother of the Vizier, the people look up to her with 
respect, and any hard measures practised against 
women of her high rank create discontent, and affect 
our national character." And the said Resident, 
after condemning very unjustly her conduct, added, 
" Still she is the mother of the prince of the country, 
and the religious prejudices of Mussulmen prevail too 
strongly in their minds to forget her situation." 

( ■( 

LXX. That the said Warren Hastings did not 
make any answer to the said letter. But the mother 
of the prince aforesaid, as well as the mother of his 
father, being, in consequence of his, the said Hast- 
ings's, directions, incessantly and rudely pressed by 
their descendant, in the name of the Company, to pay 
to the last farthing of the demand, they did both pos- 
itively refuse to pay any part of the pretended balan- 
ces aforesaid, until their landed estates were restored 
to them ; on the security of which alotie they alleged 
themselves to be in a condition to borrow any money, 
or even to provide for the subsistence of tliemselves 
and their numerous dependants. And in order to 




put some end to these differences, the Vizier did liim- 
eelf, about the beginnuig of August, 1783, go to Pyza- 
bad, and did hold divers conferences with his parents, 
and did consent and engage to restore to them their 
landed estates aforesaid, and did issue an order that 
they should be restored accordingly ; but his minister 
aforesaid, havuig before his eyes the peremptory orders 
of him, the said "Warren Hastings, did persuade his 
master to dishonor himself in breaking his faith and 
engagement with his mother and the mother of his 
father, by first evading the execution, and afterwards 
totally revoking his said public and solemn act, on 
pretence that he had agreed to the grant "from 
shame, being in their presence [the presence of his 
mother and grandmother], and that it was unavoida- 
ble at the time" ;* — the said minister declaring to 
him, that it would be sufficient, if he allowed them 
" money for their necessary expenses, and that would 
be doinff enough." 

LXXI. That the faith given for the restoration 
of their landed estates being thus violated, and the 
money for necessary expenses being as ill supplied 
as before, the women and children of the late sover- 
eign, father of the reigning prince, continued exposed 
to frequent want of the common necessaries of life ; f 
and being sorely pressed by famine, they were com- 
pelled to break through all the principles of local de- 
corum and reserve which constitute the dignity of 
the female sex in that part of the world, and, after 
great clamor and violent attempts for one whole day 
to break the hiclosure of the palace, and to force their 

• Shoka from the Vizier to Hydcr Beg Khftn, 2d Kamsur, 1197. 
t Bmtow'g Letter, 29tb Jan., 1784, with inclosures. 












way into the public market, in order to move the 
compassion of the people, and to beg their biead, 
they did, on the next day, actually proceed to the 
extremity of exposing themselves to public view,— 
an extremity implying the lowest state of disgrace 
and degradation, to avoid which many women in In- 
dia have laid violent hands upon themselves, — and 
they did proceed to the public market-place with 
the starving children of the late sovereign, and the 
brothers and sisters of the reigning prince ! A mi- 
nute account of the transaction aforesaid was written 
to the British Resident at Lucknow by the person 
appointed to convey intelligence to him from Fyza- 
bad, in the following particulars, highly disgraceful to 
the honor, justice, and humanity of this nation. 

LXXII. "The ladies, their attendants and ser- 
vants, were still as clamorous as last night. Leta- 
fit, the darogdh, went to them and remonstrated with 
them on the impropriety of their conduct, at the 
same time assuring them that in a few days all their 
allowances would be paid, and should not that be 
the case, he would advance them ten days' subsist- 
ence, upon condition that tliey returned to their 
habitation. None of them, however, consented to 
his proposals, but were still intent upon makuig 
their escape through the bazar [market-place], and 
in consequence formed themselves into a line, arrang- 
ing themselves in the following order: the children 
in the front ; behind them the ladies of the seraglio ; 
and behind them again their attendants: but their 
intentions were frustrated by the opposition which 
they met from Letafit's sepoys. 


i ,. 

' »J 



LXXIII. "The next day Letafit went twice to 
the women, and used his endeavors to make them 
return into the zenanah, promising to advance them 
ten thousand rupees ; which, upon the money being 
paid down, they agreed to comply with : but night 
coming on, nothing transpired. 

LXXIV. "On the ('ay following their clamors 
were more violent than usual. Letafit went to con- 
fer with them upon the business of yesterday, oifer- 
ing the same terms. Depending upon the fidelity 
of his promises, they consented to return to their 
apartments, which they accoi-dingly did, except two 
or three of the ladies, and most of their attendants. 
Letafit then went to Hossmuud Ali Khan, to con- 
sult with him upon what means they should take. 
They came to a resolution of driving them in by 
force, and gave orders to their sepoys to beat any 
one of the women who should attempt to move 
forward. The sepoys consequently assembled ; and 
each one being provided with a bludgeon, they drove 
them by dint of beating into the zenanah. Tlie wom- 
en, seeing the treachery of Letafit, proceeded to 
throw stones and bricks at the sepoys, and again at- 
tempted to get out ; but finding that impossible, from 
the gates being shut, they kept up a continual dis- 
charge of stones and bricks till about ten, when, find- 
ing their situation desperate, they retired into the 
Kung Mohul, and forced their way from thence into 
the palace, and dispersed themselves about the house 
and garden ; after this they were desirous o*" getting 
into the Begum's apartment, but she, being apprised 
of their intention, ordered her doors to be shut. In 
tlie mean time Letafit and Hossmund Ali Klian 




posted sentries to secure the gates of the lesser Mo- 
hul During the whole of this conflict, all the ladies 
and women remained exposed to the view of tlie se- 
poys. The Begum then sent for Letaflt and Hoss- 
mund All Klmn, whom she severely reprimanded, 
and insisted upon knowing the causes of this infa- 
mous behavior. They pleaded in their defence the 
impossibility of helping it, as the treatment the wom- 
en had met with had been conformable to his Ex- 
cellency the Vizier's orders. The Begum alleged, 
that, even admitting that the Nabob had given those 
orders, they were by no means authorized in this 
manner to disgrace the family of Sujah Dowlah ; and 
should they not receive their allowance for a day 
or two, it could be of no great moment: what wa« 
passed was now at an end; but thut the Vizier 
should certainly be acquainted with the whole of the 
affair, and that whatever ha desired she should im- 
plicitly comply with. The Begum then sent for five 
of the chUdren, who were wounded in the affray of 
last night, and, after endeavoring to soothe them, she 
sent again for Letafit and Hossmund Ali KhSn, and 
in the presence of the children expressed her disap- 
probation of their conduct, and the improbability of 
Asoph ul Dowla^ 's suffering the ladies and children 
of Sujah Dowlah to be disgraced by being exposed to 
the view of the rabble. Upon which Letafit produced 
the letter from the Nabob, at tlie same time repre- 
senting that he was amenable only to the orders of 
his Excellency, and that whatever he ordered it was 
his duty to obey, and that, had the ladies thought 
proper to have retired into their apartments quietly, 
he would not have used the means he had taken to 
compel them. Tlie Begum again observed, that what 



had happened was now over. She then gave the chil- 
dren four hundred rupees, and dismissed thera, and 
sent word by Jnmrud and the other eunuchs, that, if 
the ladies would peaceably retire to their apartments, 
Letafit would supply them with three or four thou- 
sand rupees for their personal expenses, and recom- 
mended to them not to incur any further disgrace, 
and that, if they did not think proper to act agreea- 
ble to her directions, they would do wrong. The la- 
dies followed her advice, and about ten at night went 
back into the zenanah. The next morning the Be- 
giim waited upon the mother of Si^ah Dowlah, and 
related to her all the circumstances of the disturb- 
ances. The mother of Sujah Dowlah returned for an- 
swer, that, after there being no accounts kept cf crores 
of revenues, she was not surprised that the family of 
Sujah Dowlah, in their endeavors to procure a subsist 
ence, should be obliged to expose themselves to the 
meanest of the people. After bewailing their misfor- 
tunes, and shedding -oany tears, the Begum took her 
leave, and returned home." 

That the said affecting narrative being sent, with 
others of th3 same nature, on the 29th of January, 
1784, to the said Warren HasTt^ngs, he did not order 
any relief in consequence thereof, or take any sort of 
notice whatsoever of the said intelligence. 

LXXV. That the Court of Directors .lid express 
strong doubts of the propriety of seizing the estates 
aforesaid, and did declare to him, the said Hastings, 
" that the only consolation they felt on the occasion is, 
that the amount of those jaghires for lohieh the Com- 
pany were auaranties is to be paid throuc/h our Resi- 
dent at the' court of che Vizier; and it ,ery materially 

I ' 

¥ li 



concerns the credit of your Governor on no accotxnt 
to suffer luch payments to he evaded^ But tho said 
Warren Hastings did never make the arrangement 
supposed in the said letter to be actually made, nor 
did he cause the Resident to pay them the amount 
of their jaghires, or to make any payment to them. 

And the said Hastings being expressly ordered by 
the Court of Directors to restore to them their estates, 
in case the charges made upon them should not be 
found true, he, the said Hastings:, did contumaciously 
and cruelly decline any compliance with the said or- 
ders until his journey to Lucknow, in , when 

he did, as he says, " conformably to the orders of the 
Court of Directors, and more to the inclination of the 
Nabob Vizier, restore to them their jaghires, but with 
the defalcation, according to his own account, of a 
large ^ Mim of their respective shares " : pretending, 
without the least probability, that the said defalcation 
was a "voluntary concession on their part." But 
what he has left to them for their support, or in what 
proportion to that which he has taken away, he lias 
nowhere stated to the Court of Directors, whose faith 
he has broken, and whose orders he has thus eluded, 
whilst he pretended to yield some obedience to them. 

LXXVI. That the said Warren Hastings having 
made a malicious, loose, and ill-supported charge, 
backed by certain unsatisfactory affidavits, as a ground 
for his seizing on the jaghires and the treasures of 
the Vizier's mother, solemnly guarantied to them, the 
Court of Directors did, in their letter of the 14th of 
February, 1783, express themselves as follows concern- 
ing that measure, — "which the Governor-General, 
[he, the said Warren Hastings,] in his letter to your 



board, the 28d of Jauuary, 1782, has declared he 
strmvumtly encouraged and supported: wo hope and 
trust, for the honor of the British nation, that the 
measure appeared fully justified in the eyes of all 
Hindostan. The Governor-General has informed us 
that it can be well attested that the Begums [the 
mother and grandmother of the Nabob aforesaid] 
principally excited and supported the late commo- 
tions, and that they carried their inveteracy to tl:3 
English nation so far a« to aim at our utter extirpa- 
tion." And thp Cou't of Directors did further de- 
clare as follow it nowhere appears from the 
papers at p >-ur possession, that they [the 
mother and t • ^r ^f «i° Nabob of Oudo] ex- 
cited any com.^... )ns pr 'ous to the imprisonment 
of Rajah Cheyt Sing, and only armed themselves in 
consequence of that transaction ; and, as it is proba- 
ble, that such a conduct proceeded from motives of 
self-defence, under an apprehension that they them- 
selves might likewise be laid under unwarrantable con- 
tributions." And the said Court of Directors, in giv- 
ing their orders for the restoration of the jaghires, or 
for the payment of an equivalent through the Resident, 
did give this order for the restoration of their estates 
as afbresaid on condition that it should appear from 
inquiry that they were not guilty of the practices 
charged upon them by the said Hastings. Mr. Sta- 
bles, one of the Council-General, did, in execution of 
the said conditional order, propose an inquiry leading 
to the ascertainment of the condition, and did enter 
a minute as follows : " That the Court of Directors, 
by their letters of the 14th of February, 1783, seem 
not to be satisfied that the disaffection of the Begums 
to this government is sufiicieutly proved by the evi- 






:: 'i'Hjl 

I' l« 

■'. i: V\ 

hi ' ^ ii ■ t-'^ 

deuce before them; I therefore think tliat the hvto 
and present Resident, and commai. ing officer in the 
Vizier's country at the time, should be called on lo 
collect what further information they can on this sub- 
ject, in which the honor and dignity of this govern- 
ment is so materially concerned, and that such infor- 
mation may bo transmitted to the Court of Directors." 
And he did further propose heads and modes of in- 
quiry suitable to the doubts expressed by the Court 
of Directors. But the said Warren Hastings, who 
ought long before, on principles of natural justice, to 
have instituted a diligent inquiry in support of his 
so improbable a charge, and was bound, even for his 
own honor, as well as for the satisfaction of the Court 
of Directors, to take a strong part in the said inqui- 
ry, did set himself in opposition to the same, and did 
carry with him a majority of Council against the said 
inquiry into the justice of the cause, or any propo- 
sition for the relief of the sufferers : asserting, " that 
the reasons of the Court of Directors, if transmitted 
with the orders for the inquiry, will prove in effect an 
order for collecting evidence to the Justification and 
acquittal of the Begums, and not for the investigation 
of the truth of the charges which have been preferred 
against them." That Mr. Stables did not propose (as 
in the said Hastings's minute is groundlessly sup- 
posed) that the reasons of the Court of Directors 
should be transmitted with the orders for an inquiry. 
But the apprehension of the said vVarron Hastings of 
the probable result of the inquiry proposed did strong- 
ly indicate his sense of his own guilt and the inno- 
cence of the parties accused by him ; and if, by his 
construction, Mr. Stables's minute did indicate zn 
inquiry merely for the justification of the parties by 




W i 





him accused, (which construction the motion did not 
bear,) it was no more than wlmt the obvious rules of 
justice would well support, his own proceedings hav- 
ing been ex parte, — he having employed Sir Elijah 
Impoy tc take affidavits against the women of higli 
rank aforesaid, not only witljout any inquiry made on 
their part, but without any communicatirn to thorn 
of his practice and proceeding against them ; and 
equity did at least require thai they, with his own 
knowledge and by the subordinates of his own gov- 
ernment, should be 7cd a public inquiry to acquit 
..hpmselves of the hea*^ offences with which they had 
been by him clandestinely charged. 

LXXVII. That he, the said Hastings, in order to 
effectually stifle the said inquiry, did enter on record a 
further minute, asserting that the said inquiry would 
be productive " of evils greater than any which exist 
in the consequences which have already taken place, 
and which time has almost obliterated " ; as also the 
following : " If I am rightly info Tied, the Nabob 
Vizier and the Begums are on terms of mutual good- 
will. It would ill become this guvernmeni to 
pose its influence by any act which might tend to 
revive their animosities, — and a very slight occasion 
would be sufficient to effect it. They will instantly 
take fire on such a declaration, proclaim the judg- 
ment of the Company in their favor, demand a rep- 
aration of the acts which they will construe wrongs 
with such a sentence warranting that construction, 
and either accept the invitation to the proclaimed 
scandal of the Nabob Vizier, which will not add t.' the 
credit of our government, or remain in his dominions, 
but not under his authority, to add to his vexationa 







. I A'. 


1 Is H' 

and the di«ord t of Ihe country by continual la- 
trieuos and Bedit.o..9. Enough already exists to affect 
his peace and the quiet of his people. If we cannot 
heal let us not inflame the wounds which have been 
inflicted" — ''\i the Begums think themselves ag- 
scricved to such a degree as to justify them in an ap- 
leal to aforeiffnjuri,diction, to appeal to it agauist a 
ma,i stonding in the relation of sun and grandson to 
them, to appeal to thejmtice of thou who have been the 
abetton and imtrummtt of their imputed wrongs, let us 
at least permit them to be the judges of their own 
feelings, and prefer their complaints before wo offer to 
redress them. They will not need to be prompted. 
I hope I shall not depart from the simplicity of ofli- 
cial language in saying, the majesty of justice ought 
to be approached with solicitation, not descend to pro- 
voke or invite it, much less to debase ite alf by the sug- 
Kestion of wrongs and the promise -'' .ress, with the 
denunciation of punishments before trial, and even 
before accusation." 

LXXVni That the said Warren Hastings, in at- 
tempting to 'pass an act of indemnity for lus own 
crimes, and of oblivion for the sufferings of others, 
supposing the latter almost obliterated by time, did not 
only mock and insult over the sufferings of the allies 
of tlie Company, but did show an indecent contempt 
of the understandings of the Court of Directors : be- 
cause his violent attempts on the property and liberty 
of the mother and grandmother of the ally aforesaid 
had not their first commencement much above two 
years before that time, and had been continued, with- 
out abatement or relaxation on his part, to the vei? 
time of his minute; the Nabob having, by the rnsU- 




gation of his, the said Hastings's, instrument, Hydor 
Beg Khftn, not two months before the date of the 
Consultation, been obliged a second time to breali his 
faith with relation to the estates of his mother, in the 
manner hereinbefore recited. And the said Hastings 
did not and could not conceive that the clearing the 
mother could revive any atiimosity between her and 
her son, by whom she never had been accused. The 
said Hastings was also sensible that the restoration 
of her landed estates, recommenaed by the Court 
of Directors, could not produce any ill effect on the 
mind of the said son, as it was " with almost un- 
conquerable reluctance he had been persuaded to 
deprive her of them," and at the time of his subi-^it- 
ting to become an instrument in this injustice, ''^ 
"declare," both to the Resident and his ministers, 
" that it was an act of compulsion." 

LXXIX. That the said Hastings further, by insin- 
uating that the women in question would act amiss 
in appealing to a foreign jurisdiction against a son 
and grandson, could not forget that ho himself, being 
that foreign jurisdiction, ( if any jurisdiction there 
was,) did himself direct and order the injuries, did 
him>elf urge the calumr'is, and did himself cause to 
be taken and produced the unsa '-'''•ctory evidence 
by which the women in question ... suffered, — and 
that it was against him, the said Hastings, and not 
against their son, that they had reason to appeal. 
But the truth is, that the inquiry was moved for by 
llr. Stables, not on the prayer or appeal of the suffer- 
ers, but upon the ill impression which the said Hast 
ings's own conduct, merely and solely on his own state 
of it, and on his own evidence in support of it, liad 





xnade on the Court of Directors, who ^«f j^^.^^^^^^ 
masters, and not suitors in his court. And his arro- 
Ling to himself and his colleagues to be a tnbu- 
Ml, and a tribunal not for the purpose of doing ju^ 
tice, but of refusing inquiry, was an l»igb offence and 
misdemeanor (particularly as the due obedience to 
the Company's orders was eluded on the insolent 
pretence " that the majesty of justice ought to be ap- 
preached with solicitation, and that it would debase 
[tself by the suggestion of wrongs and the Promise 
of redress") in a Governor, whose business it is, even 
of himself, and unsolicited, not only to promise but 
to afford, redress to all those who should suffer un- 
der the power of the Company even if their igno- 
ranee, or want of protection, or the imbecili y of their 
sex, or the fear of irritating persons in '^^^ andsta- 
tion, should prevent them from seekmg it by formal 

LXXX That the said Warren Hastings, at the 
time when he pretended ignorance of all solicitation 
for justice on the part of the women aforesaid and 
on that pretence did refuse the inquiry moved by his 
colleague, Mr. Stables, had in all probability received 
from Z Resident, Middleton, or, if he had made the 
slightest inquiry from the said Middleton, then a 
Calcutta, might immediately receive, an account that 
they did actually solicit the said Resident, through 
Major Gilpin, for redress against his, the said Hast- 
ings's, calumnious accusation, and the false testimcv 
ny by which it was supported, and did send the said 
complaint to the Resident, Middleton, by the said Gil- 
pin, to be transmitted to W""' *Jt 'f n .'rT«2 
ttie Council, so early as the 19th of October, 1782, 



and that she, the mother of the Nabob, did afterwardg 
send the same to the Resident, Bristow, asserting 
their innocence, and accompanying the same with the 
copies of letters (the originals of which they assert- 
ed were in their hands) from the chief witnesses 
against them, Hannay and Gordon, which letters did 
directly overturn the charges or insinuations in the 
affidavits made by them, and that, instead of any ac- 
cusation of an attempt upon them and their parties 
by the instigation of the mother of the Nabob, or by 
her ministers, they, the said Hannay and Gordon, 
did attribute their preservation to them and to their 
services, and did, with strong expressions of gratitude 
both to the mother of the Nabob and to her ministers, 
fully acknowledge the same: which remonstrance 
of the mother of the Nabob, and the letters of the said 
Hannay and Gordon, are annexed to this charge ; 
and the said Hastings is highly criminal for not 
having examined mto the facts alleged in the said 

LXXXI. That the violent proceedings of the said 
Warren Hastings did tend to impress all the neigh- 
boring princes, some of whom were allied in blood to 
the oppressed women of rank aforesaid, with an ill 
opinion of the faith, honor, and decency of the British 
nation ; and accordingly, on the journey aforesaid 
made by the Nabob from Lucknow to Fyzabad, in 
which the said Nabob did restore, in the manner be- 
fore mentioned, the confiscated estates of his mother 
and grandmother, and did afterwards revoke his said 
grant, it appears that the said journey did cause a 
general alarm (the worst motives obtaining the most 
easy credit with regard to any future proceeding, on 









account of the foregone acts) and excited groat indig- 
nation among the ruling persons of the adjacent conn- 
try, insomuch that Major Brown, agent to the said 
Warren Hastings at the court of the King Shah Al- 
lum at Delhi, did write a remonstrance therein to Mr. 
Bristow, Resident at Oude, as follows. 

" The evening of the 7th, at a conference I had 
with Mirza Shaffee Khftn, he introduced a subject, re- 
specting the Nabob Vizier, which, however it may be 
disagreeable for you to know, and consequently for 
me to communicate, I am under a necessity of lay- 
ing before you. He told me he had received infor- 
mation from Lucknow, that, by the advice of Hyder 
Beg KhSn, the Vizier had determined to bring his 
grandmother, the widow of Sufdar Jung, from Pyza- 
bad to Lucknow, with a view of getting a further sum 
of money from her, by seizing on her eunuchs, dig- 
ging up the apartments of her house at Pyzabad, and 
putting her own person under restraint. This, ho 
said, he knew was not an act of our government, but 
the mere advice of Hyder Beg Kh&n, to which the 
Vizier had been induced to attend. He added, that 
the old Begum had resolved rather to put herself to 
death than submit to the disgrace intended to be 
put upon her ; that, if such a circumstance should 
happen, there is not a man in Hindostan who will at- 
tribute the act to the Vizier [Nabob of Ou<fe], ha every 
one mil fix the odium on the English, who might easily, 
by the influence they so largely exercise in their own con- 
cerns there, have prevented such unnatural conduct 
in the Vizier. He therefore called upon me, as the 
English representative in this quarter, to inform you 
of tiiis, that you may prevent a step which will destroy 
all confidence in the English nation throughout Hia- 



dostan, and excite the bitterest resentment in all those 
who by blood are connected with the house of Sufdar 
Jung. He concluded by saying, that, ' if the Vizier 
so little regarded his family and personal honor, or his 
natural duty, as to wish to disgrace his father's mother 
for a sum of money, let him plunder her of all she 
has, but let him send her safe up to Delhi or Agra, 
and, poor as I am, I will furnish subsistence for her, 
which she shall possess with safety and honor, though 
it cannot be adequate to her rank.' 

« This, Sir, is a most exact detail of the conversa- 
tion (as far as related to that affair) on the part of 
Mirza Shaffee Kh&n. On my part I could only say, 
that I imagined the affair was misrepresented, and 
that I should write as he requested. Let me there- 
fore request that you will enable me to answer in a 
more effectual manner any further questions on this 

LXXXn. "As Mirza Shaffee's grandfather was 
brother to Sufdar Jung, there can be no doubt of what 
his declaration means ; and if this measure of dismiss- 
ing the old Begum should be persisted in, I should 
not, from the state of affairs, and the character of the 
Amir ul Omrah, be surprised at some immediate and 
violent resolution being adopted by him." 

LXXXIII. That Mirza Shaffee, mentioned in this 
correspondence, (who has since been murdered,) 
was of near kmdred to the lady in question, (grand- 
mother to the Nabob,) was resident in a provmce im- 
mediately adjoining to the province of Oude, and, from 
proximity of situation and nearness of connection, 
was likely to have any intelligence concerning his 
female relations from the best authority 






K ;■! 


t ♦ 


LXXXrV. That the Bosident, Bristow, on receiv- 
ing this letter, did apply to the said Hyder Beg KhSn 
for an explanation of the Nabob's intentions, who de- 
nied that the Nabob intended more than a visit of 
duty and ceremony : which, whatever his dispositions 
might have been, and probably were, towards his own 
mother, was not altogether probable, as it was well 
known that he was on very bad terms with the motli- 
er of his father, and it appears that intentions of a 
sunilar nature had been before manifested even with 
regard to his own mother, and therefore obtained the 
more easy credit concerning the other woman of high 
rank aforesaid, especially as the evil designs of the 
said Hyder Beg were abundantly known, and that the 
said Hastings, upon whom he did wholly depend, con- 
tinued to recommend " the most efifectual, that is, the 
most violent, means for the recovery of the small re- 
mains of his extorted demand." But although it does 
not appear that the Resident did give credit to the 
said report, yet the effect of the same on the minds of 
the neighboring princes did make it proper and neces- 
sary to direct a strict inquiry into the same, which 
was not done ; and it does not appear that any fur- 
ther inquiry was made into the true motives for this 
projected journey to Fyzabad, nor into the proceedings 
of Hyder Beg KhOn, although the said Warren Hast- 
ings well knew that all the acts of the Nabob and his 
principal ministers were constantly attributed to him, 
aad that it was known that secret agents, as well as 
the Company's regular agent, were employed by him 
at Lucknow and other places. 

LXXXV. That the said Hastings, who did, on 
pretence of the majesty of justice, refuse to inquire 




into the charges made upon the female parents of 
the Nabob of Oude, in justification of the violence of- 
fered to them, did voluntarily and of his own accord 
make himself an accuser of the Resident, Middleton, 
for the want of a literal execution of his orders m the 
plans of extortion and rapine aforesaid: the cnmnial 
nature, spirit, and tendency of the said proceedmgs, 
for the defective exocution of whljh he brought the 
said charge, appearmg in the defence or apology 
made by M-. Middleton, the Resident, for his tempo- 
rary and short forbearance ■!. 

LXXXVI. "It cculd not, I flatter myself, be 
termed a long or unwarrantable delay [two days], 
when the importance of the business, and the pecul- 
iar embarrassments attending ihe prosecution of it 
to its desired end, are considered. The Nabob was 
son to the Begum whom we were to proceed against : 
a son against a mother must at least save appearances 
in his mode of proceeding. The produce of his nego- 
tiation was to be received by the Company. Be ieivmg 
a benefit, accompanying.; the Nabob, withdrawing their 
protection, were circumstances sufficient to mark the 
English as the principal movers in this business. At a 
court where no opportunity is lost to throw odium on 
us, so favorable an occasion was not missed to per- 
su'ade the Nabo. that we instigated him to dishonor 
his family for our benefit. The impressions made 
by these suggestions constantly retarded the prog- 
ress, and more than once actu-J-ly broke ofiF the busi- 
ness: which rendered the utmost caution on my paio 
necessarv, especially as I had no assistance *o expect 
from th. ministers, who could not openly move m the 
business. In the East, it is wel) known that no, 







either by himself or his troops, can enter the walls of 
a zenanah, scarcely in the case of acting agaiast an 
open enemy, much less of an ally, — an ally acting 
against his own mother. The outer walls, and the Be- 
gum's agents, were all that were liable to immediate 
attack : they were dealt with, and successfully, as the 
event proved." — He had before ob8er\'ed to Mr. 
Hastings, in his correspondence, what Mr. Hastings 
well knew to be true, " that no farther rigor than 
that he had exerted could be used against females in 
that country; where force could be employed, it was 
not spared ; — that the place of concealment was only 
known to the chief eunuchs, who could net be drawn 
out of the women's apartments, where they had taken 
refuge, and from which, if an attempt had been made 
to storm them, they might c .cape ; and the secret of 
the money being known only to them, it was neces- 
sary to get their persons into his hands, which could be 
obtained by negotiation only."— The Resident con- 
cluded his defence by declaring his " hope, that, if the 
main object of his orders was fulfilled, he should be 
no longer held criminal for a deviation from the pre- 
cise letter of them." 

LXXXVII. That the said Warren Hastings did 
enter a reply to this answer, in support of his crim- 
inal charge, continuing to insist "that his orders 
ought to have been literally obeyed," although he did 
not deny that the above difficulties occurred, and the 
above consequences must have been the result, — and 
though the reports of the military officers charged 
■with the execution of his commission confirmed the 
moral impossibility, as well as inutility in point of 
profit, of forcing a son to greater violence and rigor 
against his mother. 



LXXXVIII. That the said Hastings, after all the 
acts aforesaid, did presume to declare ou record, in 
his minute of the 23d September, 1783, " that, what, 
ever may happen of the events which he dreads in 
the train of affairs now subsisting, l:.e shall at least 
receive this consolation under them, that he used hi? 
utmost exertions to prevent them, and that in the an- 
nals of the nations of India which have been s- ejected 
to the British dominions HE shall not be remembered 
ariwng their oppreaaora." And speaking of certain al- 
leged indignities offered to the Nabob of Oude, and 
certain alleged suspicions of his authority with re- 
gard to the management of his household, he, the 
said Hastings, did, in the said minute, endeavor to 
excite the spirit of the British nation, severely ani- 
madverting on such offences, making use of the fol- 
lowing terms : " If there be a spark of generous vir- 
tue in the breasts of any of my countrymen who shall 
be the readers of this compilation, this letter" (a lc^ 
ter of complaint from the Nabob) " shall stand for au 
mstrument to awaken it to the call of vengeance 
against so flagitious an abuse of authority and re- 
proach to the British name." 

JVffjn her Excellmcy the BJiow Begum to Mr. Briatow, 
Jteaidetit at the Vizier' a Court. 

There is no necessity to write to you by way of in- 
formation a detail of my sufferings. From common 
report, and the intelligence of those who are about 
you, the account of t'lem will have reached your ears. 
I will here relate a part of them. 

After the death of Sujah Dowlah, most of his un- 
grateful servants were constantly laboring to gratify 



their enmity ; but finding, from the firm aud sinoere 
friendship which subsisted between me and the Eng- 
lUh, that the accomplishment of their purposes was 
frustrated, they formed the design of occasionmg a 
breach in that alliance, to insure their own success 
I must acquaint you that my son Asoph ul Dowlah 
had formerly threatened to seize my jaghire ; but, up- 
on producing tho treaty signed by you, and showing 
it to Mr. Middleton, he interfered, and prevented the 
impending evil. The conspiration now framed an ac- 
cusation against me of a conduct v.aich I had never 
conceived even in idea, of rendering assistance to Ba- 
iah Cheyt Sing. The particulars are as follow My 
son Asoph ul Dowlah and his '"""f f ' ;:;^* J."???^ 
and a train of artillery, accompanied by Mr. Middl^ 
ton, on the 16th of the month of Mohurum, arrived 
at Fyzabad, and made a demand of a crore of rupees 
As my inability to pay so vast a sum was manifest 1 
produced the treaty you signed and gave me, but to 
uo efi-ect: their hearts were determined upon vio- 
lence. I offered my son Asoph ul Dowlah, whose wiU 
is dearer to me than all my riches, or even life itself, 
whatever money and goods I was possessed of: but 
an amicable adjustment seemed not worth accepting : 
he demanded the delivering up the fort, and the recall 
of the troops that were stationed for the preservmg 
the peace of the city. To me tumult and discord 
appeared unnecessary. I gave up these points, up- 
on which they seized my head eunuchs, Jewar All 
Khan and Behar Ali Khan, and sent them to Mr . 
Middleton, after having obliged them to sign a bond 
for sizty lacs of rupees ; they were thrown into pris- 
on, with fetters about their feet, and denied food and 
water. I, who had never, even in my dreams, expe- 

i ,, 



rieuced such an oppression, gave up all I had to pre- 
serve my honor and dignity: but this would not sat- 
isfy their demands : tliey charged mo with a rupee a half batta upon each mohur, and on this ac- 
count laid claims upon mo to the amount of six lacs 
some thousand rupees, and sent Major Gilpin to ex- 
act the payment. Major Gilpin, according to orders, 
at first was importunate; but being a man of expe- 
rience, and of a benevolent disposition, when he was 
convinced of my want of means, he changed his con- 
duct, and was willing to apply to the shroffs and bank- 
ers to lend me the money. But with the loss of my 
jaghire my credit was sunk; I could not raise the 
sum At last, feeling my helpless situation, I collect- 
ed my wardrobe and furniture, to the amount of 
about three lacs of rupees, besides fifty thousand ru- 
pees which I borrowed from one place or other, and 
sent Major Gilpin with it to Lucknow. My sufferings 
did not terminate here. The disturbances of Colonel 
Hannay and Mr. Gordon were made a pretence for 
seizing my jaghire. The state of the matter is this 
When Colonel Hannay was by Mr. Hastings ordered 
to march to Benares, during the troubles of Cheyt 
Sing, the Colonel, who had plundered the whole couw 
^ry, was incapable of proceeding Jrom the union of thou- 

nity : they harassed Mr. Gordon near Junivard [Juan- 
pore '] and the zemindars of that place and Acberporo 
opposed his march from thence, till he arrived near 
Taunda. As the Taunda nullah, from its overflow- 
ing, was difficult to cross without a boat, Mr. Gordon 
sent to the Phousdar to supply him. He replied, the 
boats were all in the river, but would, according to 
orders, assist him as soon as possible. Mr. Gordon s 




situation would not admit of his waiting : he forded 
the nullah upon his elephant, and was hoRpitably en- 
tertained and protected hj the Phousdar for six days. 
In the mean time a letter was received by me from 
Colonel Hannay, desiring me to escort Mr. Gordon 
to Fyzabad. As my friendship for the English was 
always sincere, 1 readily complied, and sent some 
companies of nejeebs to escort Mr. Gordon, and all 
his effects, to Fyzabad, where, having provided for bis 
entertainment, I ofi'.cted his junction with Colonel 
Hannay. The letters of thanks I received from both 
these gentlemen upon this occasion are still in my 
possession, copies of which I gave in charge to M^or 
Gilpin, to be delivered to Mr. Middleton, that he 
might forward them to the Governor-General. To 
be brief, those who have loader? me with accusations 
are now clearly convicted of falsehood. But is it 
not extraordinary, notwithstanding the justness of 
my cause, that nobody relieves my misfortunes? 
Why did Major Gilpin return without effect? 

My prayers have been constantly offered to Heaven 
for your arrival ; report has announced it ; for which 
reason I have taken up the pen, and request you will 
not place implicit confidence in my accusers, but, 
weighing in the scale of justice their falsehoods and 
my representations, you will exert your influence in 
putting a pcrio(i to the misfortunes with which I am 

Copy of a Letter from Colonel Hannay to Jewar All 
Khdn and Behar Alt Khan. 

I had the pleasure to receive your friendly letter, 
fiuught with benevolence ; and whatever favors you, 






my friends, have been pleased to confer respecting 
Mr. Oordon afforded me the greatest pleasure. 

Placing a firm reliance on your friendship, I am 
in expectation that the aforesaid gentleman, with hia 
baggage, will arrive at Fyzabad in safety, the 
same may oblige and afford satisfaction to me. 

A letter from Mr. Gordon is inclosed to you. I 
am in expectation of its being inclosed in a cover to 
the Aumil of Taunda, to the end that the Aumil may 
forward it to the above-mentioned gentleman, and pro- 
cure his reply. Whenever the answer arrives, let it 
be delivered to Hoolas Roy, who will forward it to me. 

Always rejoice me by a few lines respecting your 
health. [C »ntinue to horor me with your correspond- 

Copy of a Letter from Colonel Hannay to Jewar and 
Behar Alt Khdn. 

Kh&n Saib, my indulgent friends, remain under 
the protection of God ! 

Your friendly letter, fraught with kindness, accom- 
panied by an honorary letter from the Begum Saib, 
of exalted dignity, and inclosing a letter from Mr. 
Gordon, sent through your hircarrahs, obliged and 
rejoiced me. 

With respect to what you communicate regarding 
your not having received an answer to your friendly 
epistle, I became perfectly astonished, as a reply was 
written from Mohadree. It may be owing to the 
danger of the road that it never arrived, — not to the 
smallest neglect on my side [or of mine]. 

I now send two letters to you, — one by the Dawk 
'leople, and the second by one of my hircarrahs, (who 




AUTicLBs OP cnAnaB 



will present them to you,) which you certainly will 

I am extremely well contented and pleased with 
the friendship you have shown. 

Yon wrote me to remain perfectly easy concerning 
Mr. Gordon. Verily, from the kindness of you, my 
indulgent riends, my heart is quite easy. You also 
observed and mentioned, that, as M Gordon's com- 
ing with those attached to him [probably his sepoys 
and others] might bo attended with difficulty, if I ap- 
proved, he should bo invited alone to Fyzabad. My 
friends, I place my expectation entirely upon your 
friendslups, and leave it to you to adopt the manner 
in which the said gentleman may arrive in security, 
without molestation, at Fyzabad ; but at the same 
time let the plan be so managed that it may not 
come to the knowledge of any zemindars: in this 
case you are men of discernment. However, he is 
to come to Fyzabad : extend your assistance and en- 

It is probable that the Begum Saib, of high dignity, 
has received authentic intelligence from the camp at 
Benares. Favor me with the contents or purport. 

From Mr. Gordon's letter I understand that Mirza 
Imaum Buksh, whom you dispatched thitlier [Taun- 
da], has and still continu''^ to pay great attention to 
that gentleman, which affords me great pleasure. 

An answer to the Begum's letter is to be presented. 
I also send a letter for Mr. Gordon, which please to 

An Address from Colonel Rannay to the Begum. 
Begum Saib, of exalted dignity and generosity, 
&c., whom God preserve! 

\k J 



Tour exalting letter, fratiglit with grace mid bciieT- 
olonco, tlmt through your unbounded generosity and 
goodnosis was sent through grace and favor, I had tho 
houv,. to receive in a fortunate moment, and what- 
ever you were pleased to write respecting Mr. Gor- 
don, — "that, as at this time the short-sighted ai:d 
deluded ryots had carried their disturbances and rav- 
ages beyond all bounds, Mr, Gordon's coming with his 
whole {Hjoplo [or adherents] might be attended with 
difficulty, and therefore, if I chose, he should bo 
invited to come alone." Now, as your Highness is 
the best judge, your faithful servant repcseth his 
most unbounded hopes and expectation upon your 
Highness, that the aforesaid Mr. Gordon may arrive 
at Fyzabad without any apprehension or danger. I 
biiall be then extremely honored and obliged. 

Considering me in tlie light of a firm and faithful 
servant, continue to honor and exalt me by your 

What further can I say? 

A Copy of an Addrest from Mr. Gordon to the 

Begum Saib, of exalted dignity and generosity, 
ivliom God preserve! 

After presenting the usual professions of servitude, 
&c., in the customary manner, my address is pre- 

Your gracious letter, in answer to the petition of 
your servant from Goondah, exalted me. From tho 
contents I became unspeakably impressed with tho 
honor it conferred. May the Almighty protect that 
royal purity, and bestow happi-iCss, increase of wealth, 
and prosperity I 

VOL. Till. 




The welfare of your servant is entirely owing to 
your faTor and benevolence. A few days have elapsed 
since I arrived at Goondah with the Colonel Saib. 

This is presented for your Highness's information. 
I cherish hopes from your generosity, that, consider- 
ing me in the light of one of your servants, you will 
always continue to exalt and honor me with your gra- 
cious letters. 

May the sun of prosperity continually shma! 

Copy of a Letter to Mahomed Jewar Alt Khdn and 
Behar All Khdnjrom Mr. Gordon. 

Sirs, my indulgent friends, 
Remain under, &c., &c. 

After compliments. I have the pleasure to ac- 
quaint you that ye^sterday having taken leave of you, 
I passed the night at Noorgunge, and next morning, 
about ten or eleven o'clock, through your favor and 
benevolence, arrived safe at Goondah. Mir Aboo 
Buksh, zemindar, and Mir Rustum Ali, accompa- 
nied me. 

To what extent can I prolong the praises ot you, 
my beneficent friends ? May the Supreme Being, for 
thip benign, compassionate, humane action, have you 
in His keeping, and increase your prosperity, and 
speedily grant me the pleasure of an interview! 
Until which time continue to favor me with friendly 
letters, and oblige me by any commands in my power 

to execute 

Uaj your wishes be ever crowned with success ! 

My compliments, Ac., &c., Ac. 

^r i> 

.• % 



Copy of a Letter from Colonel Hannay to Jeioar Ali 
Khdn and Behar Ali Kh&n. 

Klian Saib, my indulgent friends, 

Remain under the protection of the Supreme Being ! 

After compliments, and signifying my earnest de- 
sire of an interview, I address you. 

Your friendly letter, fraught with kindness, I had 
the pleasure to receive in a propitious hour, and your 
inexpressible kindness in sending for Mir Nassar All 
with a force to Taunda, for the purpose of conducting 
Mr. Gordon, with all his baggage, who is now arrived 
at Pyzabad. 

This event has afforded me the most excessive pleas- 
ure and satisfaction. May the Omnipotence preserve 
you, my steadfast, firm friends ! The pen of friendship 
itself cannot sufficiently express your generosity and 
benevolence, and that of the Begum of high dignity, 
who so graciously has interested herself in this mat- 
ter. Inclosed is an address for her, which please to 
forward. I hope from your friendship, until we meet, 
you will continue to honor me with an account of 
your health and welfare. What further can I write ? 


I. That a prince called Ahmed Khfi,n was of a fam- 
ily amongst the most distinguished in Hindostan, and 
of a nation famous through that empire for its valor 
in acquiring, and its policy and prudence in well gov- 
erning the territories it had acquired, called the Pa/- 
tans, or Afghans, of which the Rohillas were a branch. 
The said Ahmed Klian had fixed his residence in the 


' ; :Tit^ 




city of Furruckabad, and in the first wars of this na. 
tion in India the said Ahmed KhRn attached himself 
to the Company against Sujah Dowlah, then an enemy, 
now a dependant on that Company. Ahmed Khan, 
towards the close of his life, was dispossessed of a large 
part of his dominions by the prevalence of the Mah- 
ratta power; but his son, a minor, succeeded to his 
pretensions, and to the remainder of his dominions. 
The Mahrattas were expelled by Sujah ul Dowlah the 
late Vizier, who, finding a want of the services of the 
eon and successor of Ahmed KhSn, called Muzuflfer 
Jung, did not only guaranty him in the possession of 
what he then actually held, but engaged to restore 
all the other territories which had been occupied by 
the Mahrattas; and this was confirmed by repeated 
treaties and solemn oaths, by the late Vizier and by 
the present. But neither the late nor the present 
Vizier fulfilled their engagements, or observed their 
oaths : the former having withheld what he had stip- 
ulated to restore; and the latter not only subjecting 
him to a tribute, instead of restoring him to what his 
father had unjustly witliheld, but having made a fur- 
ther invasion by depriving him of fifteen of his dis- 
tricts, levying the tribute of the whole on the little 
that remained, and putting the small remains of his 
territory under a sequestrator or collector appointed 
by Almas Ali Khan, who did grievously afflict and 
oppress the prince and territory aforesaid. 

That the hardships of his case being frequently rep- 
resented to Warren Hastings, Esquire, he did suggest 
a doubt whether " that little ought to be still subject 
to tribute," indicating that the said tribute might bo 
hard and inequitable, -but, whatever its justice might 
have been, that, « from the earliest period of our con- 

■1' 'K'ii', 



nection with the present Nabob of Oude, it had inva- 
riably continued a part of the funds assigned by his 
Excellency as a provision for the liquidation of the 
several public demands of ihi» government [Calcutta] 
upon him ; and in consequence of the powers the board 
deemed it expedient to vest in the Resident at his 
court for the collection of the Company's assignments, 
a sezauwil [a sequestrator] has always been stationed 
to enforce by every means in his power the payment 
of the tribute." And the said tribute was, in conse- 
quence of this arrangement, not paid to the Nabob, 
but to the British Resident at Oude ; and the same 
being therefore under the direction and for the sole 
use of the Company, and indeed the prince himself 
wholly dependent, the representatives of the said Com- 
pany were responsible for the protection of the prince, 
and for the good government of the country. 

II. That the said Warren Hastings did, on the 22d 
of May, 1780, represent to the board of Calcutta the 
condition of the said country in the following man- 

" To the total want of all order, regularity, or aw- 
iJiority in his government [the Furruckabad govern- 
ment], among other obvious causes, it may, no doubt, 
be owing, that the country of Furruckabad is become 
an almost entire waste, without cultivation or inhab- 
itants ; that the capital, which but a very short time 
ago was distinguished as one of the most populous 
and opulent coiritiercial cities in Hiiidostan, at present 
exhibits nothing 'ut scenes of the most wretched pov- 
erty, desolation, and misery ; and the Nabob himself, 
though in possession of a tract of country which with 
only common care is notoriously capable of yielding 




an annual revenue of between thirty and forty lacs 
[three or four hundred thousand pounds], with no 
military establishment to maintain, scarcely command- 
ing the means of bare subsistence." And th3 said War- 
ren Hastings, taking into consideration the said state 
of the country and its prince, and that the latter had 
^^ preferred frequent complaints" (which complaints the 
said ^ .stings to that time did not lay before the board, 
as his duty required) " of the hardships and indignities 
to which he is subjected by the conduct of the sezau- 
wil [sequestrator] stationed in the country for the 
purpose of levying the annual tribute which he is 
bound by treaty to pay to the Subah of Oude," he, the 
said Warren Hastings, did declare himself " extreme- 
ly desirous, as well from motives of common justice as 
due regard tc ^he rank which that chief holds among the 
princes of Hindostan, of affording him relief." And 
he, the said Warren Hastings, as the means of the said 
relief, did, with the consent of the board, order the 
said native sequestrator to be removed, and an Eng- 
lish Resident, a servant of the Company, to be ap- 
pointed in his room, declaring " he understood a local 
interference to be indispensably necessary for realizing 
the Vizier's just demands." 

in. That the said native sequestrator beii-g with- 
drawn, and a Resident appointed, no complaint what- 
ever concerning the collection of the revenue, or of 
any indignities offered to the prince of the country 
or oppression of his subjects by the said Resident, was 
made to the Superior Council at Calcutta; yet the 
said Warren Hastings did, nevertheless, in a certain 
paper, purporting to be a treaty n-ade at Chunar with 
the Nabob of Oude, on the 19th September, 1781, at 



the request of the said Nabob, consent to an article 
therein, " Tliat no English Resident be appointed to 
i urruckabad, and that the present be recalled." And 
the said Warren Hastings, knowing that the Nabob 
of Oude was ill-affected towards the said Nabob of 
Furruckabad, and that he was already sxipposed to 
have oppressed him, did justify his conduct on the 
principles and in the words following : " That, if the 
Nabob Muzuffer Jung must endure oppression, (awa! 
I dare not at this time propose his total relief,') it con- 
cerns tlv; reputation of our government to remove 
our participation in it." And the said Warren Hast- 
ings making, recording, and acting upon the first of 
the said false and inhumau suppositions, most scan- 
dalous to this nation, namely, that princes payinr 
money wholly fbr the use of the Company, and diree 
ly to its agent, for the maintenance "f British troops, 
by whose force and power the said revenue was in 
effect collected, must of necessity endure oppression, 
and that our government at any time dare not propose 
their total relief, was an high offence and misdemeanor 
in the said Warren Hastings, and the rather, because 
in the said treaty, as well as before and after, the said 
Hastings, who pretended not to dare to ;elieve those 
oppressed by the Nabob of Oude, did assume a com- 
plete authority over "^ -^ said Nabob himself, and did 
dare to oppress hir 

IV. That the second principle assumed by the said 
Warren Hastings, as ground for voluntarily aban- 
doning the protection of those whom he had before 
undertaken to relieve, on the sole strength of his own 
authority/, and in full confidence of the lawful founda- 
tion thereof, and for delivering over the persons so 


!, ,' 



■] n 





'M^O i': 


taken into protection, under false names and pre- 
tended descriptions, to known oppression, asserting 
tliat tlie reputation of the Company was saved by re- 
moving this apparent participation, when the new as 
well as the old arrangements were truly and sub- 
stantially acts of the British government, was disin- 
genuous, deceitful, and used to cover unjustifiable 
designs: since the said "Warren ilastiiigs well knew 
that all oppressions exercised by the Nabob of Oude 
were solely, and in this instance particularly, upheld 
by British fcrce, and were imputed to this nation ; 
and because he himself, in not more than three days 
after the execution of this treaty, and in virtue there- 
of, did direct the British Resident at Oude, in orders 
to which he required his moat implicit obedience, " that 
the ministers [the Nabob of Oude's ministers] are to 
choop U aumils and collectors of revenue with your 
concurrence." And the dishonor to the Company, 
in thus deceitfully concurring in oppression, which 
they were able and were bound to prevent, is much 
aggravated by the said Warren Hastings's receiving 
from the person to whoso oppression he had delivered 
the said prince, as a private gift or donation to him- 
self and for his own use, a sum of money amounting 
to one hundred thousand pounds and upwards, which 
might give just ground of suspicion that the said gift 
from the oppressor to the person surrendering tho 
person injured to his mercy might have had some 
share in the said criminal transaction. 


,/ f r 

V. That the said Warren Hastings did (in the pa- 
per justifying the said surrender of the prince put 
by himself under the protection of the East India 
Company) assert, " that it was a fact, that the Na- 



bob Muzuffer Jung [the Nabob of Furruckabad] is 
equally urgent with the Nabob Vizier for the removal 
of a Resident," without producing, as he ought to 
have done, any document to prove his improbable as- 
Bcrtion, namely, his assertion that the oppressed prince 
did apply to his known enemy and oppressor, the Na- 
bob of Oude, (who, if he would, was not able to re- 
lieve him against the will of the English government,) 
rather than to that English government, which he 
must have conceived to be more impartial, to which 
he had made his former complaint, and which was 
alone able to relieve him. 

VI. That the said Warren Hastings, in the said 
writing, did further convey an insinuation of an am- 
biguous, but, on any construction, of a suspicious and 
dangerous import, viz. : '* It is a fact, that Mr. Slice's 
[the Resident's] authority over the territory of Fur- 
ruckabad is in itself as much subversive of that [of 
the lawful rulers] as that of .he Vizier's aumil [col- 
lector] ever was, and is the more oppressive as the 
power from whence it is derived is greater." The 
said assertion proceeds upoa a supposition of the ille- 
gality both of the Nabob's and the Company's gov- 
ernment ; all consideration of the title to authority 
being, therefore, on that supposition, put out of the 
question, and the whole turning only upon the exer- 
cise of authority, the said Hastings's suggestion, that 
the oppression of government must be in p.-oportion to 
its power, is the result of a false and dangerous prin- 
ciple, and such as it is criminal for any person in- 
trusted with the lives and fortunes of men to enter- 
tain, much more, publicly to profess as a rule of 
action, as the same hath a direct tendency to make 


\ i 


[• Wl'l. 



the new and powerful government of this kingdom in 
India dreadful to the natives and odious to the world. 
But if the said Warren Hastings did mean thereby 
indirectly to msinuate that oppressions had been act- 
uaUy exercised under the British authority, he was 
bound to inquire iSto these oppressions, and to ani- 
madvert on the person guilty of the same, if prool 
.hereof could be had, — and the more, as the author- 
ity was given by Um»e1f, and the person exercising it 
was by himself also named. And the said Warren 
Hastings did on another occasion assert that « wheth- 
er they were well or ill-founded he never had an op- 
portunity to ascertain." But it is not true that tho 
said Hastings did or could want such opportunity : 
the fact being, that the said Warren Hastings did nev- 
er cause any inquiry to be made into any supposed 
abuses during the said Residency, but did give a 
pension of afteen hundred pounds a year to tlie said 
late Resident as a compensation to him for an injury 
received, and did afterwards promote the Resident, 
as a faithful servant of the Company, (and nothing 
appears to show him otherwise,) to a judicial office 
of high trust, — thereby taking away all credit from 
any grounds asserted or insinuated by the said Hast- 
ings for delivering the said Nabob of Furruckabad to 
the hand of a known enemy and oppressor, who had 
already, contrary to repeated treaties, deprived him 
of a large part of his territories. 

VII. That, on the said Warren Hastings's repre- 
Bentation of the transaction aforesaid to the Court of 
Directors, they did heavily and justly censure tho 
said Warren Hastings for the same, and did convey 
their censure to him, recommending relief to the suf- 



fering prince, but without any order for sending a 
new Resident: being, as it may be supposed, prevent- 
ed from taking that step by the faith of the treaty 
made at Ghunar. 

VIII. That all the oppressions foreseen by him, 
the said Warren Hastluf^s, when he made the article 
aforesaid in the treaty of Chunar, did actually hap- 
pen: for, immediately on the r^-noval of the British 
Resident, the country of Furruckabad was 8u!)jected 
to the discretion of a certain native manager of rev- 
enue, called Almas Ali Khan, who did impoverish 
and oppress the country and insult the prince, and 
did deprive him of all subsistence from his own es- 
tates, — taking from him even his gardens and the 
tombs of his ancestors, and the funds for maintaining 
the same. 

IX. That, on complaint of those proceedings, the 
said Hastings did of his own authority, and without 
communicating with his Council, direct the native 
collector aforesaid to be removed, and the territory 
of Furruckabad to be left to the sole management of 
its natural prince. But in a short time the said Hast- 
ings, pretending to receive many complaints purport- 
ing that the tribute to the Nabob remained wholly 
unpaid, and the agent to the prince of Furruckabad 
at the Presidency, and afterwards chief manager to 
the prince aforesaid, having, as the said Warren Hast- 
ings saith, " had the insolence to propagate a report 
that the interference to which his master owed the 
power he then enjoyed was purchased through him," 
he, the said Hastings, did again (but, as before, with- 
out the Comicil) " withdraw his protection and inter- 



U M 

feronco altogether," on or about the month of August, 
1782, and did signify his resolution, through the Ro^ 
ident, Middleton, to the Nabob Vizier. But the said 
Hastings asserts that " the consequence of this his 
own second dereliction of the prince of Furruckabad 
was an aggravated renewal of th. Kveritiet exercised 
against his government, and the reappointment of a 
sezauwil, with powers delegated or assumed, to the 
utter extinction of the rights of Muzuffer Jung, and 
actually depriving him of the means of subsistence. 
And the said Hastings did receive, on the 16th ol 
February, 1783, from the prince aforesaid, a bitter 
complaint of the same to the following tenor. 

" Tlie miseries which have fallen upon my country, 
and the poverty and distress which have been heaped 
upon me by the reappointment of the sezauwil, are 
such, that a relation of them would, I am convinced, 
excite the strongest feelings of compassion m your 
breast. But it is impossible to relate them: on one 
side, my country ruined and uncultivated to a degree 
of desolation which exceeds all description ; on the 
other, my domestic concerns and connections in- 
volved in mch a state of d'mtrest and horror, that even 
the relations, the children, and the wives of my father are 
starving in want of daily bread, and are on the point of 
fiying voluntary exiles from their country and from 

each other." 

But although the said Hastings -'id, on the 16th of 
February, receive and admit the justice of the said 
complaint, and did not deny the urgent necessity of 
redress, the sf id letter containing the following sen- 
tence, " If there should be any delay in your accept- 
ance of this proposal, my existence and the existence 
of my family will become difficult and douKful," — and 





although he did admit the interference to bo the more 
urgently demanded, " as tlie services of the English 
troops have boon added to enforce the authority of 
the sezauwil," — and although he admits also, that, 
even before that time, similar complaints and applica- 
tions had been made, — yet ho did withhold the said 
letter of complaint, a minuto of which he asserts ho 
had, at or about that time, prepared for the relief of 
the sufferer, from the Board of Council, and did not 
so much as propose anything relative to the same 
for seven months after, viz., until the 6th of October, 
1783 : the said letter and minuto being, as he asserts, 
" withheld, from causes not necessary to mention, from 
presentation." By which means th3 said country and 
prince did suffer a long continuance of unnecessary 
hardship, from which the said Hastings confessed it 
was his duty .o relieve them, and that a British Res- 
ident was necessary at Furruckabad, " from a sense 
of submission to ti e implied orders of the Court of 
Directors in their letter of 1783, lately received, 
added to the conviction I have LONG SINCE cntcr- 
tained of the necessity of such an appointment for the 
preservation of our national credit, and the means 
of rescuing an ancient and respectable O.mily from 


And the said Warren Hastings did at length per- 
form what he tho ight had long since been necessary ; 
and in contradiction t bis engagements with the 
Nabob in the treaty oi Chunar, and against his 
strong remonstrances, urging his humiliation from 
this measure, and the faith of the agreement, and 
against his own former declaration that it concerned 
the reputation of our government to remove our par- 
ticipation in the oppressions which he, the said Hast- 





■mn ;j: 

\ H i •)■ '^^' 

.11' I 

V if 

in«, supposed the prince of Fumickabad must tm- 
defgo, did once more recommend to t^u. Cm.nca a 
BrUi.k Resident at Furruclcabad. "^"d the withdraw- 
ing the native sorauwil: no course being left to the 
said Hastings to take which was not a violation of 
some engagement, and a contradiction to some pnn- 
7^1 ofTustice and policy by him deliberately ad- 
vauced and entered on record. ^ _ . , . „„, 
That Mr. Willes beinj, appointed Rosident, and 
having ar-ived at Furruckabad on the 25th o Fobru- 
ary, 1784, with instructions to inquire minutely into 
,he «tate of the country and the ruling f^'l^ ''«' J« 
.aid Resident, Willes, in ol«dicnce thereto, did^Uy 
cxulain to ' ^^'^ Governor-General, the said War- 
"iHash. .ing then out of the Company's 

provinces at "^a a delegation which respeclr 

Krvery cou.. part of the dependencies of 

Oude,) the situation of the province of Furruckabad ; 
but the said Warren Hastings did not take or recom- 
mend any measure whatsoever for the relief thereof 
in consequence of the said representation, nor even 
communfcate to the Council-General the said repr^ 
Lntation ; and it was not until the 28th of June, 1788 
msl?], that is, sixteen months from the arrival of 
the Resident at his station, that anytlung was laid bej 
fore the board relative to the regulation or relief of 
the distressed country aforesaid, and that not f om 
the said Warren Hastings, but ftom other meinbers 
of the Council: which purposed neglect of duty, 
joined to the preceding wilful delay of seven mon h 
n proposing the said relief originally, caused near 
two years' delay. And the said Warren Hastings 
father culpable in not communicating to the Council 
Board the order which ho had, of his own authority. 





and without any powers from them, given to the saia 
KeBident, Willes, uiid did thereby prevent them from 
taking nuch steps as might counteract the ill effects of 
the said order; which order purported, that the said 
"Willes was not to interfere with the Nabob of Fur- 
ruckabad's government, for the regulation of which 
he was in effect appointed to the Residency, — declar- 
ing as follows: "I rely much on your moderation 
and good judgment, which I hope will enable you to 
regulate your conduct tr.rurds the Nabob an(' his ter- 
vanti in such a manner, that, without interfering in 
the executive part of hi$ government, you may render 
him essential service by your council and advice" 
And this restriction the said Hastings did impose, 
which totally frustrated the purpose of the Resident's 
mission, though he well knew, and had frequently 
stated, the extreme imbecility and weakness of the 
said Nabob of Furrucknhad, and his subjection to un- 
worthy servants ; and iu the Minute of Consultation 
upon which he founded the appointment did state 
the Nabob of Furruckabad '• as a weak and unexperi- 
enced young man, who had abandoned himself entire- 
ly to the discretion of his servants, and the restora- 
tion of his independence was followed by a total breach 
of the engagements he had promised to fulfil, attend- 
ed by pointed instances of contumacy and disrespect" ; 
and in the said minute the said Hastings adds, (aa 
before mentioned,) his principal servant and man- 
ager had propagated a report that the ''interference" 
(namely, his, the said Hastings's, interference) " to 
which his master owed the power ho then enjoyed 
was purchased by him," the principal servant afore- 
said: yet he, the said Hasting , who had assigned on 
record the character of the said Nabob, and the con- 




r ' 




Hi U 



duct of liis servants, atid the aforesaid report of his 
principal servant, so highly dishonorable to him, the 
said Hastings, as reasons for taking away the inde- 
pendency of the Nabob of Furruckabad, and the sub- 
jecting him to the oppression of the Nabob of Oude's 
officer. Almas Ali, did again himself establish the pre- 
tended independence of the said prince of Furrucka- 
bad, and the real independence of his corrupt and per- 
fidious servants, not against the Nabob of Oude, but 
against a British Resident appointed by himself (" as 
a character eminently qualified for such a charge ") 
for the correction of those evils, and for rendering the 
prince aforesaid an useful ally to the Company, and 
restoring his dominions to order and plenty. 

That the said Hastings did not only disable the 
Resident at Furruckabad by his said prohibitory let- 
ter, but did render his very remaining at all in that 
station perfectly precarious by a subsequent letter, 
rendering him liable to dismission by the Vizier, — 
thereby changing the tenure of tlie Resident's office, 
and changing him from a minister of the Company, 
dependent on the Governor-General and Council, to 
a dependant upon an unresponsible power, — in this 
also acting without the Council, and by his own 
usurped authority : and accordingly the said Resident 
did declare, in his letter of the 24th of April, 1785, 
" that the situation of the country was more distress- 
ful than when he [the prince of Furruckabad] ad- 
dressed himself for relief in 1783, and that he was 
sorry to say that his appointment at Furruckabad 
was of no use " ; that, though the old tribute could 
not be paid, owing to famine and other causes, it was 
increased by a new imposition, making the whole 
equal the entire gross produce of the revenue ; that 



therefore there will not be '' anytUng for the mhmU 
ence. of the Nabob and family." And the uncles of the 
said Nabob of Furruckabad, the brethren of the late 
Ahmed Khan, (who had rendered important services 
to the Company,) and their children, in a petition to 
tlie llesident, represented that soon after the succes- 
sion of Muzuffer Jung "their misery commenced. 
The jaghires [lands and estates] on which they sub- 
sisted were disallowed. Our distress is great: we 
have neither clothes nor food. Though we folt hurt 
at the idea of explaining our situation, yet, could wo 
have found a mode of conveyance, we would liave 
proceeded to Calcutta for redress. The scarcity of 
grain this season is an additional misfortune. With 
difficulty we support life. From your presence with- 
out the provinces we expect relief. It is not the cus- 
tom of the Company to deprive the zemindars and 
jaghiredars of the means of subsistence. To your 
justice we look up." 

This being the situation of the person and family 
of the Nabob of Furruckabad and his nearest rela- 
tions, the state of the country and its capital, pre- 
vented from all relief by the said Warren Hastings, 
is described in the following words by the Resident, 

" Almas Ali has taken the purgunnah of Marara at 
a very inadequate rent, and his aumils have seized 
many adjacent villages: the purgunnahs of Cocutmow 
and Souje are constantly plundered by his people. 
The collection of the ghauts near Futtyghur has been 
seized by the Vizier's cutwal, and the zemindars in 
four purgunnahs are so refractory as to have fortified 
themselves in their gurries, and to refuse all payments 
of revenue. This is the state of the purgunnahs. 

VOL. Till. 








And Furruckabad, which was once the seat of great 
opulence and trade, U now daily deserted by its inhah- 
Hants, its walls mouldering away, without police, with- 
ora protection, exposed to the depredatims of a banditti 
of two or three hundred robbers, who, night after night, 
enter it for plunder, murdering all who oppose them. 
The ruin that has overla'ien this country is not to be 
wondered at, when it it (onsidered that there has been 
no state, no stable gover m^ it, for mmy years. There 
has been the Nabob Vizier's authority, his ministers', 
the Residents' at Lucknow, the sezauwils', the camp 
authority, the Nabob Muzuffer Jung's, and that of 
twenty duans or advisers: no authority sufficiently 
predominant to establish any regulations for the bene- 
fit of the country, whilst each authority has been ex- 
erted, as opportunity offered, for temporary purposes. 
" Such being the present deplorable state of Fur- 
ruckabad and its districts, in the ensuing year it will 
be in vain to look for revenue, if some regulations 
equal to the exigency be not adopted. The whole 
country will be divided between the neighboring pow- 
erful aumils, the refractory zemindars, and banditti 
of robbers ; and the Patans, who might be made use- 
ful subjects, will fly from the scene of anarchy. The 
crisis appears now come, that either some plan of gov- 
ernment should be resolved on, so as to form faithful 
subjects on the frontier, or the country be given up 
to its fate : and if it be abandoned, there can be little 
doubt but that the Mahrattas will gladly seize on a 
station so favorable to incursions into the Vizier's 
dominions, will attach to their interests the Hindoo 
zemindars, and possess themselves of forts, which, 
with little expense being made formidable, would 
give employment perhaps to the whole of our force, 
should it be ever necessary to recover them." 





Tliat the Council at Calcutta, on the representation 
aforesaid made by the Resident at Furruckabad, did 
propose and record a plan for the better government 
of the said country, but did delay the execution of the 
same until the arrangements made by the said Hast- 
ings with the Nabob Vizier should be known ; but 
the said Hastings, as far as in him lay, did entirely 
set aside any plan that could be formed for that pur- 
pose upon the basis of a British Resident at Furruck- 
abad, by engaging with tb ' Nabob Vizier that no 
British influence shall be «. d within his domin- 

ions, and he has engaged to prince not to aban- 
don him to any other mode of relation ; and he has 
informed the Court of Directors that the territories 
of the Nabob of Oude will be ruined, if Residents are 
sent into them, observing, that *' Residents never will 
be sent for any other purposes than those of vengeance 
and corruption." 

That the said Warren Hastings did declare to the 
Court of Directors, that in his opinion the mode of 
relief most efiectual, and most lenient with regard 
to Furruckabad, would be to nominate one of the 
family of the prince to superintend his affairs and to 
secure the payments ; but this plan, which appears to 
be most connected with the rights of the ruling fam- 
ily, whilst it provides against the imbecility of the 
natural lord, and is free from his objection to a Resi- 
dent, is the only one which the said Hastings never 
has executed, or even proposed *'• execute. 

That the said Hastings, by the agreements afore- 
said, has left the Company in such an alternative, 
that they can neither relieve the said prince of Fur- 
ruckabad from oppression without a breach of the 
engagements entered into by him, the said Hastings, 



with tho Nabob Vizier in the name of the Company, 
nor 8UlTer him to remain under the said oppression 
without violating all faith and all the rules of justice 
with regard to him. And the said Hastings hath 
dire;.tly made or authorized no less than six revolu- 
tions in less" than five years in the aforesaid harassed 
- /mce; by which frequent and rapid changes of 
government, all of them made in contradiction to all 
his own declared motives and reasons for the several 
acts successively done and undone in this transaction, 
the distresses of the country and the disorders in its 
administration have been hig.ily aggravated ; and in 
the said irregular proceedings, and in the gross and 
complicated violations of faith with all parties, the 
.did Hastings is guilty of high crimes and misde- 



I. That the late Nabob of Oude, Sujah ul Dowlah, 
did (on what reasons of policy or pretences of justice 
is unknown) dispossess a certain native person of dis- 
tinction, or eminent Rajah, residing in the country of 
Sahlone, " the lineal descendant of the most power- 
ful Hindoo family in that part of Hindostan," of his 
patrimonial estate, and conferred the same, or part 
of the same, on his, the Nabob's, mother, as a jagliirc, 
or estate, for the term of her life : and the mother 
of the Nabob, in order to quiet the country, and to 
satisfy in some measure the principal and other in- 
habitants, did allow and pay a certain pension to the 
said Rajah ; which pension, on the general confisca- 
tion of jaghires, made at the instigation of the said 



Warren Hastings, and by the letting the lands so con- 
fiscated to farmers at rack-rents, was discontinued and 
refused to be paid ; and the discontinuance of the said 
pension, " on account of the personal respect borne to 
the Rajah, (as connections with him are sought for, 
and thought to confer honor,')" did cause an univer- 
sal discontent and violent commotions in the dis- 
trict of Sahlone, and other parts of tlie province of 
Oude, with great consequent effusion of blood, and 
interruption, if not total discontinuance, to the col- 
lection of the revenues in those parts, other than as 
the same was irregularly, and with great damage to 
the country, enforced by British troops. 

II. That Mr. Lumsdaine, the officer employed to 
reduce those disordered parts of the province to sub- 
mission, after several advantages gained over the Ra- 
jah and his adherents, and expelling him from the 
country, did represent the utter impossibility of bring- 
ing it to a permanent settlement " merely by forcible 
methods ; as in any of his [the Rajaii's] incursions it 
would not be necessary to bring even a force with 
him, as the zemindars [lauded proprietors and free- 
holders] are much attached to the Rajah, whom thoy 
consider as their hereditary prince, and never fiiil to 
assist him, and that his rebellion against government 
is not looked on as a crime": and Mr. Lumsdaine 
declared it " as his clear opinion, tliat the allowing the 
said Rajah a pension suiU)'>le to his rank and influ- 
ence in the country woul I be the most certain mode 
of obtaining a permanent peace," — alleging, among 
other cogent reasons, " that the expense of the force 
necessary to be employed to subdue the country might 
bo spared, and employed elsewhere, and that the 




people would return to their villages witb their cattle 
and eSects, and of course government have some se- 
curity for the revenue, whereas at present they have 
none." And the representation containing that pni- 
dent and temperate counsel, given by a military man 
of undoubted information and perfect experience in 
the local circumstances of the country, was transmit- 
ted by the Resident, Bristow, to the said Warren 
Hastings, who did wilfully and criminally omit to or- 
der any relief to the said Rajah in conformity to the 
general sense and wishes of the inhabitants, a com- 
pliance with whose so reasonable an expectation his 
duty in restoring the tranquillity of the country and 
m retrieving the honor of the English government 
did absolutely require ; but instead of making such 
provision, a price was set upon his head, and several 
bodies of British troops being employed to pursue 
him, after many skirmishes and much bloodshed and 
mutual waste of the country, the said Rajah, honored 
and respected by the natives, was hunted down, and 
at length killed in a thicket. 

I '1*1' J i 
\> i J 

KWD OP VOL. vm.